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In 1965 young New Zealand surfer and photographer Ric Chan moved from New Zealand and landed in Brisbane Australia seeking adventure.
Ric – I brought my Pentax camera & second hand £26 600mm lens to shoot surf. For a couple of years I toured the East Coast of OZ chasing waves, women & adventure in my gold coloured VW Kombi van, which I built behind Jack Knight’s parent’s apartment in North Steyne. I earned $’s taking surf photos and selling them to Surf Magazines. I may be Australia’s first Chinese surfer/surf photographer.
Photo: 1968 Ric Chan’s gold Kombi outside Bob McTavish property in Northern NSW. Ric Chan pic.
Ric – On one of my surf trips, I met top surfers Wayne Dale and Lane Habib (South Australia). It was Lane who talked me into going to South Australia. I was a free spirit and thought why not! In Adelaide I met John Arnold who commissioned me to travel from SA to WA to cover the 1969 Australian Surfing Titles and design a movie ticket/poster for Paul Witzigs’ Evolution surf film.
Photo: 1968 John Arnold Surfboards brochure, compliments of Gasworks Surf Shops WA.
The following images are Ric Chan’s photographic coverage of the ’69 Australian Surfing Titles. The design of the poster sized Evolution movie ticket is covered in the next SDS blog.
1969 AUSTRALIAN SURF TITLES
Western Australia hosted the Australian Surf Riding Titles for the first time in May 1969. The contest was blessed with offshore conditions and plenty of swell. Championship rounds were held at Scarborough and Margaret River and finished with finals at Yallingup.
Mens: 1. Nat Young NSW 2. Peter Drouyn QLD 3. Richard Harvey NSW.
Junior Mens: 1. Wayne Lynch VIC 2. David ‘Baddy’ Treloar NSW 3. Butch Cooney NSW.
Womens: 1. Josette Largardene QLD 2. Nola Shepherd SA 3. Judy Trim NSW.
Senior Mens: 1. Ted Harvey NSW 2. Alan Robins WA 3. Dave Williams WA.
WA surfers Peter ‘Spook’ Bothwell & Ian ‘Kanga’ Cairns were finalists in the Open & Juniors respectively
Image: 1969 newspaper clipping featuring Ric Chan and eastern states surfers at the ’69 contest. Image courtesy of Independent Newspaper. L-R Shane Stedman NSW, Ric Chan surf photographer NZ, Richard Harvey NSW & Glen Richie NSW.
Ric was/is a flamboyant surf photographer. He infamously rowed out into the oversized Margs Main Break line-up in a row boat to shoot the surf contest.
Ric – WA contest official Trevor Burslem (dec’d) would call out the giant sets over the PA, to warn me of any big sets in-bound. I was only 26 years old at the time and had no fear back then!
Photo: 1969 surf photographer Ric Chan at Yallingup. Photo courtesy of Ric Chan.
Photo: 1969 Margaret River line-up for the contest. Contest official Trevor Burslem is walking down the track in his parka. Ric Chan pic.
Photos: 1969 Contest officials & photographers at Margaret River. Richard Harvey NSW (3rd from right top pic) Ric Chan pics.
Photos: 1969 Contest spectators at Surfers Point at Margaret River. John Balgarnie WA bottom right. Ric Chan pics.
Photos: 1969 competitors preparing for heats at Margaret River. Right: Richard Harvey NSW. Ric Chan pics
Photo: 1969 David ‘Baddy’ Treloar NSW competing in the Junior Mens division at Margaret River. Ric Chan pic
Photo: 1969 Ian Cairns WA competing in the Junior Mens division at Margaret River. Ric Chan pic.
Photo: 1969 Wayne Lynch VIC competing in the Junior Mens division at Yallingup. Ric Chan pic.
Photo: 1969 Robert ‘Nat’ Young NSW in the Mens division at Margaret River. Ric Chan pic.
Photo: 1969 Peter Drouyn NSW in the Mens division at Margaret River. Ric Chan pic.
Photos: 1969 unidentified surfer in the Mens division at Margaret River. Ric Chan pic.
Ric – I liked what I saw in WA during the ’69 Titles and after finalising commitments in Adelaide I returned to WA later in the year. This time I drove my gold kombi across the Nullarbor, which was an unpaved road of bull dust. I surfed Cactus on route and saw a giant shark in the line-up and paddled straight in as I was the only person out. Then my kombi broke down after I hit a pot hole which was at least 3ft deep. The Kombi came to a grinding halt…nothing I did would make it go! An hour later a young guy stopped & asked if he could help…..he told me the carbie was flooded and to wait a while. We tore down some trees & lit a fire to keep warm & about another hour later, he told to fire up the motor and it worked! I continued on towards Perth.
Photo: 1969 Ric Chan posing on his gold Kombi during his passage across the Nullarbor Plain. Ric Chan pic.
Ric – In WA I scored a job as a DJ in the Sheraton Down Under Disco. After that I joined Independent Newspapers as a photo journalist. I also did voice overs, modelled and presented for Jeans West and DJ’d at Gobbles Nightclub until 1985, then I headed to Bali to manage the Cheaters Night Club on the Kuta entertainment strip. But that’s another story…….
I’m like a flower in the wind and like to spread pollen all over the place!
Coming soon Design of movie ticket for 1969 ‘Evolution’ surf film.
In the mid 70’s I was working as a brickie with Peter ‘Mac’ McDonald and Darren ‘Buggsy’ Edwards at Yallingup. Buggsy now trains Police in self-defence!
Photo: 1975 Prive’s bricklaying team and others on Peter Dyson’s property at Northcliffe. Peter Mac pic.
L-R Chris ‘Greeny’ Green, Hans Kopp, Ian ‘Prive’ Morris, Daryl ‘Buggsy’ Edwards and Peter Mac.
We were building John ‘Dandaragan’ Robinson’s house on Wardenup Crescent and a stray dog found our brick laying team. We called him Blackie cos’ he was black.
We used to throw bricks into trees and Blackie would climb the tree – amazing like – it’s a rare dog that climbs trees – and bring the brick back down. Blackie entertained us during smokos…and brickies need entertainment!
Photo: Mid 1970s Yalls Blackie the dog fetching a brick in a tree. Prive pic.
On a weekend trip, Bruce King, Sharon ‘Shaz’ Day (now Barratt), Steve ‘Blue’ Nicholson, Mark Rudenberg & I drove to Perth in my blue HR panel van (shagging wagon). Blackie came for the drive and entertained us on the trip.
We drove on South West Highway and had a beer / middy at every pub en route. We also decided to souvenir a glass or ash tray at every venue. By the time we got to Perth we were pissed. We ended up at the White Sands pub in Scarborough and souvenired small liqueur bottles from the bottle department. We then proceeded to drink more at the Sunday Session.
Photo: 1972 Sharon Day & Blue Nicholson leaning on Prive’s blue panel van at Yallingup. Prive pic
Blackie & I separated when I travelled overseas with Graham ‘Guru’ Lesley. From there-on Bob Monkman took on Blackie.
Photo: 1975 Guru with original family at Komala Indah Losmens in Bali. Prive pic.
Apparently after a few months, Blackie found another owner and left Bobbo.
Blackie chose his owners, reminiscent of the famous Red Dog up north.
We used to have a lot of fun with that dog, back when we were bricklayers!
In May 1969 the Nation’s best surfers competed in the Australian Surfing Championships held in WA.
These were the first Oz Titles held in WA and the first opportunity for WA surfers to see World Surfing Champion Nat Young and the cream of OZ surfers competing in metro & SW waves. Prior to that time, WA surfer’s exposure to the top OZ surfers was mainly through surf magazines and surf movies.
Like a lot of other WA surfers, young Scarborough surfer Gavin McCaughey followed the contest from Scarborough to Margaret River & then Yallingup in the South West.
These are Gavin’s photos and comments on some of the Eastern States surfers competing in the ’69 Oz Titles at Marg’s.
Gavin – World Champion Nat Young (NSW) broke his big wave surfboard in the solid waves at Marg’s Main Break. Nat changed to his other surfboard and went onto win the Open Men’s division.
Photo: 1969 World Champion Nat Young leaving the surf with broken surfboard at Marg’s. Gavin McCaughey pic.
Gavin – In this photo NSW team mates Nat Young & Ted Spencer are repairing Nat’s replacement surfboard on the beach at Marg’s. In the background watching the process are L-R WA representative Kevin Ager, Steve ‘Sheepdog’ Cockburn, unidentified, WASRA President Ronald ‘Doc’ Naylor (striped shirts were his signature) and a couple of unidentified eastern states surfers.
Kevin Ager – I do have a clear memory of the event surrounding this photo which Nat alludes to in his autobiog. “Nat’s Nat and that’s that” but it (my memory) is not as dramatic as Nat’s narrative. Talk about authors licence, but it does make for a good read!
In fact what Nat had done, prior to Gavin’s pic, was extend the hard edge further into the softer leading main rail section, as the board had little grip in the more powerful waves. Remember it was a Dewie Webber 7ft something, quite full Californian influenced design. Nat was struggling for drive and speed compared to Drouyn and Richard Harvey in the early heats when it was pumping.
After the bog mix gelled he placed it under a car exhaust to promote a quick cure. Unfortunately the mix had been over-primed and the heat of the exhaust made the bog mix ignite, badly burning the board.
The photo actually captures Nat and good mate Ted repairing the damaged section.
As mentioned before, Nats version is more sinister rather than hilarious, which it was during the rescue amid too many trying to help.
Photo: 1969 Nat Young, unidentified & Ted Spencer repairing Nat’s burnt surfboard at Marg’s. Gavin McCaughey pic.
Gavin – This pic shows the back of Paul Witzig (NSW surf journalist/photographer) whilst he checked out Marg’s main break.
Photo: 1969 Paul Witzig heading out for a surf at Marg’s. Gavin McCaughey pic.
Gavin – This pic shows Peter Drouyn (Qsld) with the surfing priest (whose name escapes me) at Marg’s. Peter finished 2nd to Nat in the Open division.
Photo: 1969 Surfing priest & Peter Drouyn chatting in Marg’s car park. Gavin McCaughey pic.
Gavin – Wayne Lynch from Vic was one of the best junior surfer in World at that time and went on to win the Junior Title.
Photo: 1969 Wayne Lynch in the car park at Marg’s. Gavin McCaughey pic.
The 69 Oz Surf Titles exposed the quality of SW waves to the world and many national & international surfers followed thereafter.
Coming soon Ric Chan’s coverage of the 1969 Australian Surfing Titles in WA.
Surfers Balls were popular with board club based surfers and attracted big crowds during the 60s.
The Balls were run by WASRA, board clubs and some non-surfing organisations.
1. Annual Surfers Ball
In 1965 the West Australian Surf Rider Association (WASRA) commenced running Annual Surfers Balls at the South Perth Civic Centre.
Photo: 1965 First Annual Surfers Ball at South Perth Civic Centre. Photo courtesy of Tina Wilson.
L-R George Goddard, Jeanne Abbott, Tina Daly & Joe Wilson.
Photo: 1966 Second Annual Surfers Ball at South Perth Civic Centre. Photo courtesy of Ron Moss.
L-R Alan Cleaver, Lyn, Connie, Ron Moss, Kathy Ward, Jim King, Rob Halliday, Elizabeth Pearson, others unidentified.
Photos: 1966 Second Annual Surfers Ball at South Perth Civic Centre. Photo courtesy of Ron Moss.
L-R City Beach surfer Ronald Moss with Kathy Ward (left) and Connie (right).
Photo: 1966 Second Annual Surfers Ball at South Perth Civic Centre. Photo courtesy of Brian Cleaver.
L-R Brian Cleaver & Maureen Davies.
Image: 1967 Entry ticket to the Third Annual Surfers Ball at South Perth Civic Centre. Image courtesy of Jim King.
Images: 1967 Newspaper cuttings from Third Annual Surfers Ball at South Perth Civic Centre. Images courtesy of WA Newspapers.
Left: Colin & Jenny Cordingley. Right: Ron Hutton (Doorman), Robyn Ronchi & Michael Wynne from North Beach.
Images: 1967 Newspaper cuttings from Third Annual Surfers Ball at South Perth Civic Centre. Images courtesy of Alex Regos & WA Newspapers.
L-R Prisca Mackaay, Elizabeth Pearson & Penny Harvey
Photo: 1969 Fifth Annual Surfers Ball at South Perth Civic Centre. Photo courtesy of Brian Cleaver.
L-R Penny Harvey & Brian Cleaver.
2. Other surfers Balls
The Yallingup Board Club ran annual Balls for their members.
Photo: 1965 Yallingup Board Club Ball pre-dinner drinks. Photo courtesy of Tina Wilson.
L-R Don McDonald, Joe Wilson & Alan McGilvray with Jeanne Abbott, Tina Daly and Louise Bojear.
Photo: 1965 City Beach surfers John ‘Basil’ Hanley and Carol McDonald (Dec’d) at PWD Ball. Photo courtesy of Carol McDonald & the Daily News.
Photo: 1960s Ball held at the Palace Hotel in Perth. Peter Dyson pic.
L-R Blue Burridge, Peter Dyson Ned Franetovich & Richard Burridge (girls unidentified).
Photo: 1960s Fancy Dress Ball held at Embassy Ball Room in Perth. Peter Dyson pic.
L-R Jeff Hanson, Don McDonald, Peter Dyson, Hume Heatley & Dave Condon.
Photo: 1968 Peter ‘Rinso’ Wise and partner at University Ball held at Embassy Ballroom in Perth. Photo courtesy of Rinso.
During the late 60s & early 70s participation in Board clubs and interest in Balls waned, so the annual Surfers Balls were discontinued.
Surf photographer Ric Chan captured these images of WA’s finest surfers of the 70s Ian ‘Kanga’ Cairns and Tony Hardy charging solid waves at North Point in 1976.
Both Kanga & Tony won WA State Surfing Titles and were finalists at the National level.
Ian went to Hawaii and in December 1973 and won the Smirnoff Pro event at Sunset Beach from Hawaiian Jeff Hakman. He won other big events in the Duke Kahanamoku Invitational Surfing Championship in 1975 and World Cup events in 1976 and 1980. Source: Wikipedia.
Photo: 1976 Ian Cairns #1
Photo: 1976 Ian Cairns #2
Photo: 1976 Ian Cairns #3
Photo: 1976 Ian Cairns #4
Photo: 1976 Ian Cairns #5
Photo: 1976 Ian Cairns #6
Photo: 1976 Tony Hardy #1
Photo: 1976 Tony Hardy #2
Photo: 1976 Tony Hardy #3
Photo: 1976 Tony Hardy #4
Photo: 1976 Tony Hardy #5
Photo: 1976 Tony Hardy #6