Port Macquarie's longest running surfing event and one of the most unique surfing events in the world are both apt descriptions for the Bird Rock Memorial Surf Classic.
The surfing tournament started in 1981 is entering its 39th year on Saturday, May 18 and continues to celebrate the lives of all board riders passed in the Hastings region, according to committee member Geoff Branch.
"It all started in 1981 with the passing of Mark Edwards and now celebrates the lives of all board riders in the Hastings," he said.
"Last year it was held at Point Plomer and this year we are at Rainbow Beach in Bonny Hills.
"It's just means everything about surfing, gatherings of families and friends with surfing culture.
"There are so many different groups represented but they are all connected with the ocean.
"New people to the Bird Rock family can share feelings and memories, it gives people a network, community and support."
"A simple concept but one of the most unique things in surfing in the world with one of the longest running competitions in Australia."
The event features long and short board competitions as well as juniors, girls and age group categories.
It kicks off with a Town Beach headland memorial for family and friends at 6pm on Friday , May 17.
The opening ceremony and paddle out with event sign on will take place on from 6am to 8am on Saturday and Sunday, May 18 and 19 at Rainbow Beach, Bonny Hills.
Closing with a raffle and band night with Ghost Road at the Bonny Hills Surf Club from 6pm on May 18.
The prizes up for grabs are the original trophy and also a raffle for a single-fin 6'0 Stubbie surfboard made and donated by Black Square Surfboards.
The tournament's namesake, Bird Rock Memorial monument was erected in 1998 recording the names of the local surfing characters.
It's first edition in memory of Port Macquarie surfer Mark Edwards, who passed in a car crash while living on the Sunshine coast.
The Bird Rock reads:
"We surf with you in our memories forever."
"In memory of Bird Rock board riders."
Mid North Coast Girls Surfriders president Robyn Wallace said the event had garnered about 20 entries for the girls categories in long and short board competitors.
"There are a little bit more than the last year," she said.
"I've been involved for the last seven years, it's a significant event to get together and pay respects to passed surfers.
"It's a good get together, about creating new friendships and a wonderful chance just to chat."
For photos of competitors from the Bird Rock Memorial Classic in 2016, Click Here.