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1976 Margaret River Main Break images by Ric Chan

Margaret River Main Break is internationally renowned as the premier surf break in the South West region. It is one of Australia’s most consistent big wave locations and hosts amateur & pro surfing competitions. The annual Drug Aware Margaret River Pro contest is telecast to a world-wide audience. Like other popular surf breaks, it gets busy during holiday periods.

Back in 70s’ State & National Titles were held at Marg’s, but it was pre the hordes (and FIFO workers) and uncrowded mid-week surfs were possible.

Surf photographer-journalist Ric Chan captured these quieter moments at Marg’s in 1976. Marg’s surfer Adrian Wilson has provided comments on some of the images.

Photo: 1976 Randall Owens & his Toyota Land Cruiser at early morning session Surfers Point. Photo Ric Chan.

Adrian WilsonRandall used to wear boardies and a wetsuit top….you may remember he wrote the surfing column in the Sunday Independent in the mid 70s.
He was a good surfer in big waves…goofy foot.
I recall one very large day…sets breaking in the middle of the bay…I think I was paddling out with Steve Randall…we saw Randall Owens take a very large left. He got about half way down the face, caught a rail then tumbled into the pit only to be sucked over the falls.
As you can imagine we were concerned for his safety…. especially as he did not surface for about 100m with his board long gone heading for the middle of the bay.
He survived, but retold the story many times over the years.

1976 Marg River line-up early morning - Ric Chan 006

Photo: 1976 Adrian Wilson surfing classic low tide right handers at Margs. Ric Chan pic.

Adrian WilsonThere were perfect small medium rights. I was riding a 6ft 8 inch shaped by Ian Cairns….those boards, about 20 inches wide and 3 inches thick with plenty of rocker were very suited to hard bottom turns and powerful surfing especially for bigger guys. Nothing like what the modern surfers can do (unless you were Kanga)…but a lot of fun…Ric Chan used to walk out on the reef and take photos.

1976 Margaret River Adrian Wilson Ric Chan IMG_0002 (1)

Photo: 1976 Chris Fullston surfing Marg River left. Ric Chan pic.

Adrian WilsonI reckon the goofy footer could be Chris Fullston. Chris and I used to surf together a lot in those days…he ripped at Margs riding boards that were ahead of their time……triple flyer pintails…very fast and good for slashing turns….exactly what Chris used to do. Chris got on well with Ric Chan….we used to see him at Margs early, after he had driven straight from Gobbles Night Club where he used to DJ at in Perth.

1976 Marg River Chris Fullston - Ric Chan IMG_0002 (2)

Photo: 1976 solid Marg’s Main Break. Ric Chan pic.

1976 Marg River Main Break line-up big - Ric Chan 008

Photo: 1976 Marg River Bombie. Ric Chan pic.

1976 Marg River Bombie - Ric Chan 007

Photo: 1976 Unsealed Surfers Point car park. Ric Chan pic.

1976 Marg River Surfers Pt car park  - Ric Chan 006

Photo: 1976 Craig Bettenay surfing Margs Left. Ric Chan pic.

1976 Marg River Craig Bettenay - Ric Chan 002

Photo: 1976 Tony Hardy surfing Marg’s Right. Ric Chan pic.

1976 Marg River Tony Hardy - Ric Chan DSC00038

Photos: 1976 Marg River surfers. Ric Chan pics.
Top: (Left) Dave Bailey. (Right) Mark Wells.
Bottom: (Left) Wayne Kissick & girlfriend (Right) Jeff Cedevic.

Adrian WilsonWhen I was a gremmie at Margs, Jeff Cedevic was part of a local crew that surfed the Point in the 70s. He was a great big wave surfer, having a classic back hand style. I can still picture his deep bottom turns on big left hand peaks…..from memory Jeff had a bad surf accident at Margs breaking his pelvis on a very large day. Jeff later moved to Tassie with his wife Chris ( Gary and Sadie Keys also made the move)….sadly Jeff died of cancer in Tassie.

1976 Marg River people - Ric Chan collage_photocat