Bartholomew, Wayne Alternative names: Rabbit Bartholomew, Bugs Batholomew
Wayne "Rabbit' Bartholomew AM (Australian Surfer/Author/CEO) is a 3 time world surfing title holder 1978, 1999 (World Master), 2003 (World Grand Master) and accredited as being a pioneer of the sport of Professional surfing. Born and raised on the Gold Coast, Wayne 'Rabbit' Bartholomew AM was instrumental in the "volcanic birth" of professional surfing and is referred to often as a "Godfather" of the sport. Out of the ocean, Bartholomew is also well known for his corporate success as previous international President and CEO of the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) 1999- 2009 and his invitations for involvement with industry, universities and the United Nations. In 2009 Bartholomew received an Order of Australia for his work in environmental awareness and is currently the CEO of EcoReps an Australian company dedicated to commercialising green technologies such as LED lighting (ThinkLED) and Waste to Energy applications (Thermal Recovery Unit). The nickname "Rabbit" is said to have come from both his ability as a youth to play two pinball machines at once by hopping from one to another and from the erratic style in which he would run around a soccer field.
Awards & Recognition
- Member (AM) in the General Division of the Order of Australia, 2009
- Inducted into Australian Walk of Fame, 2006
- Inducted into USA Hall of Fame, 2001
- Inducted into Sports Australia Hall of Fame, 1999
- Inducted into Australian Surfing Hall of Fame, 1987
- Ambassador, International Year of the Ocean, United Nations, 2008.
- Gold Coast Sportsman of the Year - (3 times)
- ASP "services to the Sport Award"
- Movie of the Year, USA Surfer Poll Awards, 2008; for Bustin' Down the Door.
- Documentary of the Year, USA Surfer Poll Awards, 2008; for Bustin’ Down the Door.
- Chief Executive Officer- EcoReps & ThinkLED 2011 - Present.
- President, Association of Surfing Professionalss (ASP) International, 1999-2009; Chief Executive Officer, 1999-2003; Director, 1977-1988 and from 1992.
- National Coaching Director, Surfing Australia, 1993- 1998.
- Co-Founder, Wayne Bartholomew Academy of Surfing 1985-1992.
- President, Snapper Rocks Surfrider Club, 1987-2002.
- Co-Author, Bustin’ Down the Door, published 1996; (Bartholomew’s biography and an account of surfing during the 1970’s)
- Author, Bustin’ Down the Door article for Surfer magazine, published 1976; the Inspiration for the surfing documentary of the same title released in 2008.
- Co-Founder mini surf championship tour; forerunner of Australian Championship Circuit, in the 1990s.
- ASP Masters Champion, 1999 and 2003; ASP World Champion, 1978; and ranked in the World Top 5, for 8 consecutive years.
- Special Projects Manager for Billabong, 1990 - 1998
Bartholomew first burst on to the scene as a pro surfer in the winter of 1975 where he and his newly established crew Mark Richards, Shaun Tomson, Ian Cairns and Peter Townend displayed their new brand of surfing that inspired the critically acclaimed movie "Bustin' Down the Door" Renowned as a "master of the tube" Bartholomew's home ground of Kirra beach provided him with an almost cavalier approach to big waves helping Rabbit take out the 1978 world professional title. He was rated in the top five in the world for eight consecutive seasons, winning events all over the world. Rabbit remains revered as one of surfings fiercest competitors and greatest strategists - as well as one of its most flamboyant characters. After retiring from the professional circuit in the late 1980's, Bartholomew dedicated himself to furthering the development of surfing.
Post Surfing Career
In March 1999, Rabbit was appointed to surfing's top post - President and Chief Executive Officer of the ASP - overseeing the multi-million dollar world tour. Rabbit negotiated the relocation of the ASP head office from California to Coolangatta, further reinforcing the Gold Coast's reputation as a world surfing capital. In October 1999, Rabbit proved he was as talented and competitive as ever by winning the ASP World Masters title in France and in 2003 took out the Grand master title in Hawaii.
In 2009 Bartholomew was awarded an Order of Australia (AM) for his work in environmental awareness then stepped down as International President of the ASP to pursue his passion for environmental work. Rabbit is currently the CEO of EcoReps an Australian company dedicated to commercialising green technologies such as LED lighting (ThinkLED) and Waste to Energy applications (Thermal Recovery Unit).
Roles and Representations
- Vice-President and Patron, Surfers Against Nature’s Destruction (SAND);
- Co-Founder, in the 1980’s. Patron, Groups Against Sewage Pollution (GASP).
- Patron, National Ocean Care Day.
- Patron, Surfrider Foundation.
- Founder, Kirra Environmental Protection Trust (KEPT).
- Keynote speaker, First International Symposium on Surfing Reefs, 1996.
- Queensland Community Representative, Tweed River Entrance Sand Bypass Committee, since 1992.
- Patron of National Surfing Reserves.