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1977 Arty Sherburn first WA surfer to win an Australian Title – Updated 10 May 2017

Update 10 May 2017. See Arty Sherburn’s comments below.

Hi Jim, thank you for the article on the 1977 Aussie Titles. It brings back some fond memories.

If I remember correctly, Australia experienced its first Pilots Strike just prior to us departing.

WASRA and our Team Manager, Tony Harbison organised at very short notice a number of Hire Cars in lieu of the cancelled flights. We all met on a Wednesday morning at Trigg Point Car Park (great to see some of Ric’s Photos covering the departure) and left in convoy (sort of!) at about 11am. I remember in our vehicle(a Falcon Stn Wgn) we had Tony Hardy, Peter Davison, Blair Mikeljohn and myself. We shared the driving except for Pete who was a Junior Grom in the back whose main contribution to the journey was continually asking “are we there yet Dad?”

Thankfully the Nullarbor section was mainly sealed and we drove continuously stopping only for fuel, something to eat and the necessary “lightening of the load so to speak”. We must have thought that all the road maps were out of date because we all seemed to have a different idea of  of the short cuts and “this way is quicker” routes. As the Titles started on Saturday we were under the pump to get to Sydney by Friday so we decided to head north from South Aust up through Cobar, fuel up and beat the rest of the Crew into Sydney.Great idea except by thetime we got to Cobar (what a God forsaken place!)the town was closed including the Servo and we were out of Fuel! We had our first sleep for the trip on the forecourt of the Garage waiting for them to open, and from memory it was about about as comfortable as the floor of the Dunnie’s at Yall’s on a winters night in the early 60’s. Finally we arrived at our destination, a Caravan at North Narra Beach at around 2pm Friday, after leaving Trigg about 48 hrs earlier.

We all had a surf and were  ready for the Contest to start the next morning. Not the sort of Pre Competition preparation I would recommend but we got there on time.

Thankfully the Pilots Strike ended and the Association were able to fly us back after the Contest.

Regards Jim, keep up the good Work with the Site. Arty Sherburn.

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1977 State Team Departure

The West Australian Surf Riding Assoc (WASRA) arranged a media event at Trigg Point car park prior to the departure of the ‘77 State Team to the Australian Surfing Titles in NSW.

Surf photographer Ric Chan was there to record the Team’s departure.

Photo: 1977 WA surf team members and officials at Trigg Point car park. Ric Chan pic.

Photo: 1977 WA surf team officials & sponsors at Trigg Point. Ric Chan pic.

Photo: 1977 WASRA President Tony Harbison speaking to the media at Trigg Point. Ric Chan pic.

Photo: 1977 WA judge Greg Laurenson & competitor Colin Earle at Trigg Point. Ric Chan pic.

Photo: 1977 Media and sponsors at State Team departure. Ric Chan pic.

Photo: 1977 Sponsor’s representatives at State Team departure. Ric Chan pic.

1977 Australian Surfing Titles held in NSW

Contest heats were held in stormy conditions at Warriewood, Palm Beach & Collaroy. The finals and grand finals were held in near perfect 6-8ft Narrabeen lefts and rights.

WA’s Arty Sherburn won the Senior Men’s division of the Australian Surfing Titles.

He avenged his second placing in the same event the previous year and became the first West Australian surfer to win an Australian Title after 14 years of National competition.

Photo: 1977 WASRA President Tony Harbison presenting the National Senior Men’s Title trophy to Arty Sherburn (WA) in Sydney NSW. Photo courtesy of Arty Sherburn.

Arty’s surfing mate Barry Young finished 6th in the Senior Mens and WA’s Ross O’Brien came fifth in the Kneeboard division.

In the Open division WA surfers Tony Hardy and Bruce Hocking made it into the second round semi-finals and Chris Fulston was unlucky to miss out on a berth in the final.

WA judge Greg Laurenson was rated the fourth best judge at the Titles.

Contest Results:

Open: 1. Col Smith (Sydney) 2. Col Smith (Newcastle) 3. Andrew McKinnon (Vic)

Junior: 1. Chris Bryne 2. Tom Carroll 3. Steve Wilson (all NSW).

Senior: 1. Arty Sherburn (WA) 2. C Coulsen (Vic) 3. G Black (Qld).

Kneeboard: 1. Peter Crawford 2. J Waterworth 3. G Wilson (all NSW).

Women: 1. L Goebels (Qld) 2. V Burke (NSW) 3. G Couper (Vic).

WA surf journo Randell Owens covered the National Titles in his West Coast Tubes surf column in the Sunday Independent Newspaper on 29 May 1977.

Image: 1977 Randell Owens’ coverage of the National Surf Titles. Courtesy of Arty Sherburn.

Photo: 1977 WASRA Annual Award Presentation at Karrinyup Tavern. Adrian Wilson is presenting an award to Arty Sherburn. Tony Harbison is the MC in the background. Ric Chan pic.

Arty is now retired and lives in Cowaramup in the South West. He is still a talented surfer.

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