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1960s Yallingup Surf Board Club – Recollections (part 2 of 2)

This collection of 60s Yallingup Surf Board Club (YBC) recollections has been provided by former Club members.

Bill Oddy’s YBC recollections:

Bill: “I can relate lots of ‘good stories’ which include the many, chaotic club meetings at Cord’s house in Mosman and the ensuing ‘lunatic’ drives down to DJ’s at Cottesloe (Terry James & Col Morris in their ‘souped up’ FJ’s) for burgers after polishing off the obligatory 5 gallon kegs (booze bus…what booze bus??). The mad rush to get to Yallingup, after work on Friday nights before the pub closed. Bill Copley always obliged us with ample amounts of drinks before the cops came in for their regular visit and ‘refreshments’ before closing about 11.00pm or beyond….the Saturday night ‘swim thru’s’ on the bitumen between the front bar and the beer garden….most of this stuff was too clinical for the City Beach boys….I don’t even think they got a look in…..most of the interaction was between YBC and ‘The Wheels’ (West Coast Board Club – Patto’s crew).
Our special relationship with the D’Espeissis in being able to get a key to get through their property to Rocky Point……Robby Birch pushing through the track to “Gallows”….Howard Kent ’the Ghost’ surfing the ‘Bull’s Pipeline’ all alone out the back for ages before he usually got the wave of the day….. seeing Steve (can’t remember his last name for now and now deceased) showing up at Caves House on a Saturday evening covered in scratches and flavine after a bad mishap and getting dragged over the barnacles at South Point (no leg ropes then)…we were all saying “he looked like he had run into a barbed wire fence”…. and the list goes on!!”

Photo: 1970s Dave Ellis & Bill Oddy kite flying Mullaloo. Ric Chan pic

1970s Dave Ellis & Bill Oddy kite Mullaloo - Ric Chan 023

Extract from 2008-9 interview with the late Terry James’ by Phil Wood of Karridale.

Terry: “In the early 60s the only way we could get to Yallingup was to go with the guys that the owner of Caves House, Bill Copley, had given them permission to sleep in the old wash house. Before that we would sleep in cars and on the beach. That was the West Coast Board Club. As we were all underage we couldn’t drive down to Yallingup so we would get a lift with those guys who we called ‘the Wheels’ Mark Patterson, Kevin Merifield etc.
When we got to 17 and got our own cars and going down to Yallingup, Bill Copley said to Cliff Hills and Rob Birch “if you want to form a surf board club I will give you a bit of land and you can build a shack”. That was the start of the Yallingup Board Club.
We all got together and as Yallingup was the centre of the whole thing, we called ourselves the Yallingup Board Club.
The club was very successful. Colin Cordingley was the first president. We raised money and put down a slab, and built a timber frame and fibro shack that had a fridge, stove and beds.
The Cordingley Challenge Trophy started off the competition between the 20 or so clubs that had been formed in the early 60’s. The Yallingup Board Club dominated the competition, winning it 13 consecutive times between 1964 and 1966 against all comers.
We were lucky to be an exclusive club as we could get the best riders to join. We had a great line up of senior and junior champions and were sponsored by JD’s. We had our own club colours – black and blue and the parkas, board shorts and T shirts were provided by our sponsor JD’s. The end of year presentations were held at the Willagee Park Hotel owned by Bill Oddy’s father.”

Photo: 1965 Yalls YBC L-R Mark Waddell, Fred Lochowitch, Bill Oddy, John Pozzi, Peter Bothwell, Terry James, Craig Brent-White, Kim Woods, Geoff Berry, Trevor Baskerville. Photo courtesy Sonny James pic

1965 Yalls YBC M Waddell, F Lochowitch, B Oddy, J Pozzi, P Bothwell, T James, C Brent-White, K Woods,  G Berry, T Baskerville - Sonny James pic

Mike Bibby’s YBC recollections.

Mike: “My introduction to the Yallingup Surf Board Club came through living next door to Gary & Rob Birch in Grant St Cottesloe. Colin Morris and I would hang over the fence (we were about 12) and watch these big guys talking about their surfing days.
These were what I call the “first tier” members of the club, the ones that formed it and built the shack. The second tier were the younger guys who were invited to join.
The only way we could get down south was to either go with our parents (uncool) on holidays or as we got a bit older (14 or so ) we would get a lift down with one of the older guys, Rob Birch, Vic Francis, George Goddard, Rick Skelton & Co. They were very good to us, putting up with the younger kids.
By 1964 a lot of the “second tier” members had their own cars and it was a regular event to meet at the Cottesloe Hotel on a Friday and head down to the shack. The stories about the trips down are legendary, records set for the quickest trip down (my recollection is Joe Wilson and I did it in Trickeys’ Meats van in under 2 hours from the Cott pub to Caves House) and the odd encounter with the cops (no breathalysers in those days!).
There were plenty of prangs, the only two I can recall are Vic Francis rolling his car on the Quindalup bridge with 4 of us in the back seat (no seat belts) – no injuries except a few dents to Vic’s pride and joy and our boards, and Joe Wilson getting the Trickey Meat van airborne near Margaret River. It was one of the few times I have seen Joe scared.
Colin and Jenny Cordingley and Terry James were the main link between the first and second tier members. We were all made very welcome at their house at Beagle Street, Mosman Park, it was one of the first to have a swimming pool and on a slack day we would go round and cool off. The club meetings with the obligatory 5 gallon keg were a highlight.
The shack was the focal point of our time down south. Some of the antics that went on are better left untold, however Alan MacGillvray’s “who’s laughing at me” episode is one to remember. Alan had had a few at Caves House and came back to the shack obviously pissed. We started laughing at him and he suddenly snapped saying “who’s laughing at me”. I think it was Possum (John Pozzi) who then burst out laughing. Alan then picked up Possum in his bed and hurled it though the side of the shack. No one made a sound after that.
There was not a lot of aggro between the crew, everyone enjoyed surfing and being part of the scene. If there was no surf we would go crabbing or diving for crays and have a communal meal with those who were down at the shack.”

Image: Winners of 1966 State Winter Titles. L-R Maureen Farrell, John Pozzi, Mike Bibby, John Balgarnie, Peter Dyson, Terry Jacks, & Eleanor Proud. (Terry Jacks & John Balgarnie not YBC). Photo credit Trevor Burslem.

1966 Scarborough WA Winter Champs - T Burslem pic

Kevin Ager’s YBC recollections.

Kevin: “Late 1967 Colin Cordingley coerced several Cottesloe Board Club surfers including myself to join Yallingup Board Club.
This seemed a good idea as CBC was becoming non active after Vic Kailis stepped aside as president.
YBC was also a bit ‘sluggish’ but Col reckoned new blood would re energise the club.
He was so enthusiastic it was infectious. The “third tier” as Mike Bibby calls it, did give new life to the club.

Most of the original crew had drifted away from active participation. The remaining core of active guys also re-found their mojo.
A new Committee was formed with Col ‘el presidente’ (for life), me as secretary, Trevor Baskerville treasurer and Kim Standish committee man. Some of the ‘originals’ occasionally would turn up for the monthly meetings, but always for the Beagle St. pool parties put on by Col and Jenny.

The intimidating legend YBC had forged from the early 60’s as the “unbeatables” held no longer. Of the three interclub comps, contested from ’68 to ’69 we only won one and on both occasions lost to Southern Surf Riders. We did win the Warrain Board Club sponsored Paddle Though Perth in 1968.
The winning club division was decided by which club had four paddlers over the line first. So we were the fittest if not the best in surfing contests.

Unfortunately by 1969 the increasing irrelevance of surf board clubs was fast gaining momentum. Surfers preferring the cooler, individual, free spirit image. This was shaking the foundations of all clubs and was really pissing Col off, so he invited a few of the “originals” who were also pissed off that the once all conquering YBC was again in demise, to mentor us and keep the club “afloat”. But it was of no consequence, the “third tier” were bailing like rats from a sinking ship.

Along with most other clubs the Yallingup Board Club dynasty terminated by mid-1969.

In 2002 a reunion was held at Billy Oddy’s Rivervale Hotel. It was a great night with most of the crew (from all “tiers”) attending. Reuniting with old mates made us all very happy, sadly for some, it was the last time.

Nothing lasts forever.”

Photo: 1965 Kevin Ager at former beach car park Rocky Point. Photo credit Jim King

1965 Rocky Point in SW Kevin Agar - J King pic