In the late 60s, Ross Utting of Floreat was a junior member of the City Beach Surf Riders Club.
Ross recalls his early trips Down South with guys from the Club. “By 1968 many of us were heading to the South West waves around Yallingup at every opportunity. The wave quality and power of the south west made surfing exciting again.
On early trips, 5 hour marathons out through Armadale and down the South West Highway, we used to take our own food supplies in tin cans of peaches, baked beans, braised steak and onions etc to be opened as required. In 1967 on my first trip south with Club guys in David ‘Bull’ Moss’s Morris Minor, Bull ripped all the labels off my cans. Consequently, for the duration of the trip I never knew what I was having for breakfast or dinner. Bull laughed his head off when I would open a can for breakfast, hoping for peaches, but getting a lovely breakfast of cold congealed braised steak and onions. YUK! What an arsehole he was then.
On another trip south in Bull’s ‘Morrie’ the carburettor malfunctioned and we couldn’t get up hills. On the way home Bull made Norm ‘Dot’ Kitson and me get out and run up the hills pushing when required. It took us 12 hours to get home.”
Photo: L-R 1968 Floreat Glen ‘Roy’ Carroll, Ross Utting and David ‘Bull’ Moss with Bull’s Morris Minor loaded with surfboards. Photo courtesy of Ross Utting.
Ross Utting: “My most memorable trip south included a bone rattling experience of 22klms of limestone on the still unsealed Old Coast Road in Steve ‘Simmo’ Simpson’s Mini Minor, in about 1970. The Mini nearly shook itself to bits. Anyway, we rock up to Margaret and its 12-15ft but perfect. Simmo wouldn’t even get out of the car. There aren’t many people about and Fred Annesley is trying to get some starters. Eventually he gets Peter Bothwell, Ian Mitchell and me. Fred is calling us into these absolute bombs “Ross, yours, go.” “Faaa….rk”. I get 3 waves and go in and sleep all afternoon at Yallingup, a blithering mess. Surfing is supposed to be fun. That was not fun!”
In the mid 70s Ross traveled extensively through England, Europe & Asia. He surfed uncrowded Bali on the way home to OZ.
Photos: 1975 Overseas travel pics. Photos courtesy of Ross Utting.
Top: (Left) Greece Ross with Ios Island family. (Right) Israel Ross working at Kibbutz.
Bottom: (Left) Afghanistan Ross riding in Hindu Kush mountains. (Right) India Ross with Buddha at Kathmandu.
Photos: 1970s South West pics. Photo Credits Jim King.
Top: (Left) 1975 Ross & Joe Fimmano at Injidup (Right) 1976 Jim King & Ross waxing Blaxell surfboards.
Bottom: (Left) 1978 Ross & Fred Harris at Hideaway Homes Yallingup. (Right) 1976 Ross with favourite Blaxell single fin ‘Orange Flyer’.
Ross lives with his wife Diane in the city & has a holiday home in the SW. He still surfs regularly down south.
Refer Surfing Down Surf book for more SW surfing anecdotes.