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.