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First Aussie World Surf Champ Midget Farrelly Dies

Surfing's first world champion, Australian Bernard `Midget' Farrelly has died, aged 71.

An inductee to the Sports Australia Hall of Fame in 1985, Farrelly won surfing's first world championship in 1964 at Manly, and was runner-up again in 1968 and 1970.

He was also the first Australian to win a major surfing title at the 1963 championships in Makaha, Hawaii.

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The victories made him the face of the sport in Australia for a number of years, as he helped launch the International Surfing Federation which ensured the growth of the sport and its championships worldwide.

In his later career he became better known for his surfboard-making business, where he was an influential designer of short boards.

He was inducted into the surfing walk of fame at California's Huntington Beach in 2007.

AAP

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