Vale MP

Breaking news – AUSTRALIAN surfing great Michael Peterson has died, apparently from a heart attack.

Family sources reported that Peterson, 59, died this morning, according to the Surfing World website.

Peterson was virtually unbeatable in the early 1970s, winning three Bells trophies and several Australian titles.

“He was an incredible surfer and an inspiration,” said Ian Cairns, one of Peterson’s peers, from his home in California.

“He had a great style and perfect transition between manoeuvres. He had carve and flow, he competed waves, he never missed a section. And he was driven to compete.”

He starred in the iconic 1971 surfing film Morning of the Earth.

Peterson battled with schizophrenia and heroin addiction later in life.

Former world champion Peter Townsend said Peterson was a legend of the sport.

“He was our Miki Dora, James Dean and Marlon Brando all rolled into one, only he surfed like a man on a mission and rode our waves in the ‘Gatta like it mattered,” he told Surfing World.