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1973 Australian Surf Titles #2 Media coverage by Errol Considine

1973 Nationals at Margs

Trying to shut the door Down South …. too late!

The 1969 Australian Nationals held at Margaret main break in pumping power waves, the like of which had never been seen at the titles before was the pivotal moment in the history of WA surfing – when the door was flung open to the world and the secret of the Capes coast’s waves was out.

People like Len Dibben who had been there at the birth of modern surfing in Western Australia has said that ’69 was the turning point – and nothing Down South would ever be the same again.

That iconic Ric Chan shot of the legendary Wayne Lynch high-lining a main break left at the ’69 titles said it all – that WA could match it with famed Australian east coast, Hawaiian and Californian breaks which up till then had dominated surf magazines and movies.

We were in awe of the boards Nat Young, Lynch and the crew were riding and wanted to follow them too – although we parochially claimed our mate Greg “Thunder” Laurenson was at least equal with the best board shaper craftsmen and designers on the east coast…and we reckoned WA surfers like Ian Cairns, Peter Bothwell and Kevin Agar were up there too.

The ’69 titles also brought the ‘flower power’ thing to WA – the long hair, beards, beads, floppy felt hats, bell bottom dacks – the new surfing cool was here. And we were all ready to follow…

But in the aftermath came some other changes that weren’t so cool.

Surfing pilgrims from across the Nullarbor, and even from across the world, bought new progressive influences …and also, for the first time, more crowded waves at times Down South [‘crowded’ in relative terms to what we knew up till then!]

There was also something of a loss of innocence as the downside from a new drugs and dole culture began to be felt – not everybody was mellow and ‘cool’ – man!

Boards could no longer be left on cars outside pubs or at mates’ houses in Scarborough ‘cos stuff started betting stolen, for instance.

TRACKS MAGAZINE – ‘Paradise Lost’

In the February 1973 edition of Tracks magazine (really more a non-glossy, black and white newspaper format at that time), I wrote an article titled “Paradise Lost” which appeared in the “news & opinions” section and hit like a bombshell sending shock waves coast to coast

It provoked a storm with string of letters to the editor in the following edition of the magazine – which unfortunately I have not kept – which just smashed me!

Richard Harvey – third at the ’69 championships and would go on to win the May ’73 titles at Margs – labelled me as a total dickhead. It was chastening and more than a little embarrassing.

Image: 1973 Tracks Magazine Errol’s “Paradise Lost or How the West Was Won” editorial – page 1. Image courtesy of Errol Considine.

Image: 1973 Tracks Magazine Errol’s “Paradise Lost or How the West Was Won” editorial – page 2. Image courtesy of Errol Considine.

Image: 1973 Tracks letter and payment to Errol for “Paradise Lost” editorial. Image courtesy of Errol Considine.

All I can now say now is that our intentions were good and naked self-interest came first …but we were totally naïve and it was all too late. The tide could not be turned back.

In my article, I related how amazing the 1969 titles had been, but on a “cold Saturday night late in winter ’72 some friends and I go and see Tom Hoye (expatriate American and builder of good sticks at Yallingup) and get to talking about contests”.

Now Tom had fled California to get away from the crowds and reckoned he’s found Nirvana at the Margies coast.

He talked about having had it all in southern California – surfing had provided him with a good income, place to live, good car, great stereo (dunno why but I recall that detail!) …and he got to go surfing. But SoCal polluted, too fast, and the water was a crowded nightmare and had all gone to crap.

As I wrote in my two-page feature in Tracks: “He put to us a question: ‘WHY DO WE WANT ANOTHER NATIONALS IN OUR SURF…”

“Good question…no real answer…

“Only abstract notions like pride in our surf and surfers.

“Look at the realities …surfing everywhere is strangling itself with its own success and the contest will ensure the much quicker death of our crowd-doomed southern surf.”

We got fired up. You also have to put this in the context of the times. It was age of the rising power of the young & the power of protest action …”the times they are a changin’…”

At the next monthly meeting of WA Surf Riders’ Association (the forerunner of Surfing WA) I put a motion which was seconded by my mate Peter Bevan (who was also WASRA Publicity Officer) for an “extraordinary general meeting to be held for the first time in local history to “discuss” the national titles…really to cancel them.”

Well, it hit the fan – BIG TIME!

The special WASRA meeting saw battle lines drawn with the pro and anti Nationals factions lined up.

The pro team had something we didn’t – money! Some developers who were building the caravan park at Yallingup wanted to bankroll the titles. Their main man pulled out a wad of $20 notes and said he would put up $500 for the winner’s purse at the Nationals.

Bear in mind, we were earning less than $100 a week – I had never seen that much cash in my life!!

Anyway, the vote is taken and we won. The May ’73 Nationals in WA were off. Cancelled.

Now it hit the fan across the Nullarbor.

Surfing Australia President Stan Couper wrote WASRA a nasty ultimatum letter “generally calling us shitheads and coming on heavy and about how we should reconsider…”

So at WASRA’s next monthly meeting another extraordinary general meeting is called – and the vote was reversed. The ’73 Nationals were back on at Margaret River.

The Tracks feature also ran nearly a full page on the written submission we’d put to the WASRA special meeting…including:

“This monster of our own making is coming back to WA…Our frontier will inevitably be destroyed by the pressures of too many surfers and has obviously already begun to tread that path to destruction….”

I guess our attitude was – if we’re going to head down this path, then go hard!!

We were defeated. Surfing life moved on. We thought then, well we may as well enjoy it?!

I was working as a journo at TVW 7 news and conned my boss into letting me go down to Margs for the week with a film cameraman and send back reports.

That meant sending cans of undeveloped 16mm black and white film by overnight courier back to the station at Tuart Hill. With scripting copy enclosed pounded out on my little Olivetti typewriter!!

‘Surfing Down South’ has a Ric Chan shot of me somewhat sheepishly interviewing Richard Harvey amongst a group in the car park at Surfers’ Point at the ’73 Nationals. I think I mumbled my name and he didn’t work out that he was being questioned on camera by the dickhead from Perth who he’d vilified in the national surf media a few months earlier. Phew!

Photo: 1973 Aust Titles contest meeting in Marg’s car park. Ric Chan pic.

L-R competitor Doug ‘Claw’ Warbrick (Vic), competitor Richard Harvey (NSW), Channel 7 News cameraman Bryan Dunne, 7 News reporter Errol Considine, media Ric Chan (NZ) and unidentified.…you can see the Channel 7 Holden news van in the background …

TRACKS MAGAZINE – ‘Main Report on the ’73 Nationals at Margies

Fast forward to June’73 – and I accepted an invitation from Tracks to write the main report on the May Nationals at Margies.

Image: 1973 Telegram from Tracks magazine editor Frank Pithers to Errol requesting coverage of ’73 Nationals. Image courtesy of Errol Considine.

The surf was good. I wrote about how our worst fears weren’t borne out.

“The only real hassle was the hassling. Hassling in the water like I’ve never seen before. Everyone (including the worst hasslers) seem to be complaining about it so it must have been worse than usual… Tony Hardy and Rod Brooks…nearly came to blows early in the piece. But in a pattern that seemed to be typical, it was friends on shore; kills, kill, kill in the water.”

The same Rod Brooks, from Victoria, took me aside for chat about my previous little surf media storm and explained why guys like Richard Harvey had gotten so angry at me:

“…the east coast boys look forward to two contests on the Australian surf circuit…the annual Bells and the triennial or quadrennial Margaret rip. It puts surfers into the juice and sorts them out and is a nice adventure cum holiday.”

It was indeed a simpler time with narrower horizons!

I did let rip in the article at the then Surfing Australia president Stan Couper “giving a few guys the shits with his …dictatorial…attitude and rulings” about where rounds of the event were to be surfed.

“The guy doesn’t surf, he doesn’t know the coastline, the report comes in from the world’s most experienced Margaret River rider (Murray Smith) that it’s 6 to 8 foot and great, everybody wants to go there…but Stan says “NO”…we’ll check our Cowaramup and Redgate. It ended up at Margaret but Stan, it seemed, just had to have his way.”

You have to remember that back then, Australian sport was notorious for being run by inflexible, uptight officials and the interests and wishes of the athletes came second to nit picking process and procedure…

Anyway, I digress. Back to the contest.

I wrote how the first round was held at “South Point Cowaramup in fair to good 4 to 6 foot surf”.

George Simpson beat Queensland’s reigning champion Michael Peterson, and Tony Hardy did well. The WA flag flew high and we were all pretty stoked.

In the Juniors, Craig Bettenay and Bruce Hocking did well. But Ian Cairns was a shock loser.

Round two was “Big Wednesday” at Margaret main break – not perfect quality but “sure big 10 to 12 foot”.

I reported there were some surprise losers like Simon (“that guy’s got muscles on his muscles”) Anderson, but Terry Fitzgerald killed it.

After a lay day, it was on at good Redgate. Richard Harvey, Michael Peterson and Peter Townend got deep in barrel after barrel.

The final day surfed off on the Sunday, back at Main break. While smaller than the Wednesday, the shape and conditions were better.

Richard Harvey ruled in the Open final, beating Peter Townend, with Michael Peterson third. WA’s Tony Hardy came fifth, which was a disappointment as he was just such a master at Margie’s.

A young fella named Mark Richards from NSW won the Juniors – he went on to do pretty good in Hawaii and the big leagues a few years further down the track! WA’s Craig Bettenay came in fourth.

In the Senior Men’s, Tony Harbison placed fifth.

I also noted to round off my report, that great WA surfer Barry Day, who’d won the coveted Duke Kahanamoku trophy for the best up-and-coming rider at the Nationals in Sydney the year before, could not compete Down South in 1973 as he was “playing league football.” A gifted player, Barry starred in the 1974 grand final for West Perth and later played for Essendon in the VFL. He would have been a rider to be reckoned with if he’d been able to take part in the ’73 Nationals held here…one of those ‘what ifs’…

I wrote a brief comment in my Tracks report about an event in the Open final:

“There was a hassle about an alleged drop-in against Peterson that would have changed everything had it stood. Michael hassled the judges afterwards about the drop-in (or “interference” as it’s now called) and got a few to change their minds in a pretty strange decision. The ruling was reversed.”

In Surfing Australia’s “A Complete History of Surfboard Riding in Australia”, published in 2012, author Phil Jarratt revealed the full details of what really happened and Michael Peterson’s epic meltdown:

“By this time, Peterson’s drug use was becoming more noticeable to most surfers and officials…and often his behaviour on land was hard to fathom, even though in the water his drug haze seemed to be no impediment to his performance. Until Margaret River.

“In big, powerful waves the defending Australian champion was a contender all the way to the final where he was up against consistent Peter Townend and the powerhouse goofy-footer Richard Harvey. Agitated beyond belief, Peterson paddled up and down the line-up, snaking and hassling his rivals with a manic intensity. He was probably never going to beat the smooth, calculating Harvey, but a drop-in call by the judges put that beyond doubt. Furious, Peterson confronted the judges with a tirade of profanity-laden abuse, delivered in a rainstorm of white spittle.

“No one had seen anything like it in an Australian championships since Nat Young’s famous dummy spit at Greenmount in 1970…Peterson’s invective stopped as suddenly as it had started, and within seconds he was spinning wheels in the car park and on this way to the airport.”

Wow. Never knew that. The officials covered it up well for us working media back in ‘73!!

Image: 1973 Tracks Magazine coverage of ’73 Aust Titles by Errol Considine – Page 1. Image courtesy of Errol Considine.

Image: 1973 Tracks Magazine coverage of ’73 Aust Titles by Errol Considine – Page 2. Image courtesy of Errol Considine.

…and one more thing. An ironical post-script to my naïve idealism all those years ago and trying to stop the Nationals from over-exposing our surf! At the start of last year, I ended a six-year term serving on the Board of Surfing WA as Vice Chairman. During that time I played a role in helping Mark Lane and the team to move at the right time to get the MR Pro as ASP/WSL world championship event …and then helped with running of some of the media stuff…exposing and promoting the Cape Coast to millions of surfers around the world! …go figure!

My Tracks front cover – Poem

During my “Tracks” phase in ’72 & ‘73 I broke into verse – something which just came to me out of the blue to me one day during a surf – and the Editor liked it so much it made the front cover of the August 1972 edition…bit hard to read in the scan, so here’s the lines, as published:

I feel the waves;

The waves feel me.

We both feel each other:

We both feel free

Not sure now about my mysterious use of punctuation with the semi-colon and colon!

Taking a bit of a revisionist backward view of that time in our surfing history, the vibe is definitely an after-glow of the ‘tune in, turn on and drop out’ mantra from the San Francisco ‘summer of love’ hippie thing.

Even if you weren’t doing the ‘turn on’ bit, it was important in peer image terms back then to try hard to at least appear to be a cool and mellowed-out ….and not risk the mortal sin of being deemed to being uncool – shock, horror!!

…my little stanza doesn’t quite join Bob Dylan in the Nobel Prize for Literature league but I’d like to think it does say something about the stoke we all felt back then in that unique and blessed era as we spent our weekends and holidays Down South surfing uncrowded waves with our mates, progressing with the developments in surfboard design, and feeling part of Australian surfing taking on the world…the ‘hot generation’ and the swagger of ‘we’re tops now’. It was all happening.

Some people assumed the picture on the Tracks cover was me – unfortunately no …don’t think I ever looked that good on a wave! But the Tracks’ editor did find a great visual image which matched the spirit of what I was trying to say.

No idea who the surfer captured in the shot was but I reckon it looks to me like it could have been Keith Paul?

The yellowed Tracks cover is now framed and hangs in a little personal surf memorabilia man-cave in my garage at home…

Image: 1972 Tracks cover (August edition) containing Errol’s poem. Image courtesy of Errol Considine.

Image: 1972 Tracks payment letter to Errol for poem and an inside article. Image courtesy of Errol Considine.

Footnote: In 2004, I interviewed George Simpson for a feature profile piece which was published in the first ‘Summer 04/05’ edition of “Longbreak” surf travel magazine (now published online: http://www.longbreak.com.au/ ) …

George related about his first trip to an undeveloped Bali in 1973 and stayed six months. They travelled to Indo by boat from Singapore and slept amongst reed beds on the beach at Kuta.

Local bemo drivers would charge the surfers the equivalent of about $1 to take them out to Uluwatu.

One day at 8 foot Ulu’s, George was surfing with the very same Richard Harvey.

The NSW goofy spotted white water further up the unexplored coast and decided to take off and have a look to see whether he could find any more surfable waves.

The way George tells it, Mr Harvey paddled off by himself carrying just a bottle of water and a joint to keep himself provisioned for the journey into the unknown!

In that one day, George told me, Richard Harvey discovered and surfed Bingin, Padang Padang and Impossibles by himself. It’s hard to imagine how mind blowing that must have been.

Harvey arrived back at Jimbaran Bay after dark that night bubbling with excitement about these great new spots ….which today are just so well-known across the world. Bloody amazing!

ENDS

Click on this link to view 1973 Australian Surf Titles #1 Contest Images by Ric Chan

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1973 Australian Surf Titles #1 Contest images by Ric Chan

West Australia hosted its first Australian Surf Titles in 1969. Contest rounds were held at Scarborough, Margaret River and Yallingup.

In 1973, WA hosted its second Australian Surf Titles. Contest rounds were held in the South West at Left Handers, Redgate and Margaret River Main Break.

Queensland sent a strong team which included reigning Aust champion Michael ‘MP’ Peterson and Peter ‘PT’ Townend, Richard Harvey and Wayne ‘Rabbit’ Bartholomew in the Mens divison and Kim McKenzie in the Womens divison.

NSW had Terry Fitzgerald and Col Smith in the Mens division and Mark Richards in the Juniors. They were very good surfers.

WA was well represented. The WA team included Ian Cairns and Tony Hardy in the Mens division, brother’s Craig and Stewart Bettenay in the Junior Mens and Kevin Merifield and Tony Harbison in the Senior Mens.

Stewart Bettenay (WA Junior) – Round one heats started at Margs, but when the swell dropped, the remaining heats and finals were held at Left Handers. In the Juniors, my brother Craig came 3rd behind Mark Richards NSW 1st and Bruce Hocking WA 2nd.

Round two heats were held in good waves at Redgate, but I don’t remember the results.

The Finals were held in very good waves at Margaret River main break. In the Mens division Tony Hardy surfed well and placed 4th overall. In the Juniors Craig came 3rd behind Mark Richards NSW 1st and Peter McCabe NSW 2nd. However, when results from the second round were taken into account, Craig was relegated to 4th place in the final results.

Overall Contest Results

Mens: 1. Richard Harvey Qld, 2. Peter Townend Qld, 3. Michael Peterson Qld, 4. Tony Hardy WA.

Junior Mens: 1. Mark Richards NSW, 2. Peter McCabe NSW, 3. Dave McDonald Qld, 4. Craig Bettenay WA.

Womens: 1. Kim McKenzie Qld, 2. Gail Couper Vic, 3 Mary Flynn Vic,

Senior Mens: 1. Brian Austin QLD, 2. Ted Harvey NSW, Doug Warbrick Vic.

Surf photographer Ric Chan was there to capture the action for the Independent Newspaper.

Round 1. Left Handers surf break

***Update 29 June 2017 *** Tom Blaxell recognises his F100 4wd and has dated the following Left Handers pic as 1978 and not 1973 as posted. Thanks Tom.

Photo: 1973 Aust Titles contest competitors in the old dirt car park behind surf break at Left Handers. Ric Chan pic.

Photos: 1973 Aust Titles competitors surfing at Left Handers. Ric Chan pics.

Top: (Left) Chris Fullston (WA). (Right) Tony Hardy (WA).

Bottom: (Left) unidentified (Right) Col Smith (NSW).

Photos: 1973 Aust Titles unidentified competitors surfing at Left Handers. Ric Chan pics.

Photos: 1973 Aust Titles unidentified competitor getting a cover-up at Left Handers. Ric Chan pics.

Photo: 1973 Aust Titles – Film West camera crew at Left Handers. Ric Chan pic.

Finals – Surfers Point at Margaret River

Photo: 1973 Aust Titles contest meeting in Marg’s car park. Ric Chan pic.

L-R competitor Doug ‘Claw’ Warbrick (Vic), competitor Richard Harvey (NSW), Channel 7 News cameraman Bryan Dunne, 7 News reporter Errol Considine, media Ric Chan (NZ) and unidentified.…you can see the Channel 7 Holden news van in the background …

Photos: 1973 Aust Titles contest officials at Marg’s. Ric Chan pics.

Top: (Left) unidentified) (Right) contest director Trevor Burslem (WA).

Bottom: (left) unidentified), (Right) competitors, contest judges and officials including John Balgarnie (WA) and Richard Harvey (NSW) ….

Photos: 1973 Aust Titles competitors surfing Margaret River main break. Ric Chan pic.

Top: (Left) unidentified surfer. (Right) Craig Bettenay cover-up.

Bottom: (Left) Michael Peterson. (Right) unidentified surfer.

Photos: 1973 Aust Titles personalities in Marg’s car park. Ric Chan pics.

Left: Qld competitor Peter ‘PT’ Townend. PT went onto to become the first IPS/ASP World Surfing Champion in 1976.

Right: spectator Steve ‘Sheepdog’ Cockburn and surf photographer Ric Chan.

Photo: 1973 Aust Titles celebrities at Marg’s. Ric Chan pic.

This photo features legendary Australian surfer Michael ‘MP’ Peterson (Qsld), Rip Curl surf co-founder Doug ‘Claw’ Warbrick (Vic) and a host of WA surfing heavy weights.

MP (in wetsuit) is making his way through contest spectators to enter the water for his heat. Doug ‘Claw’ Warbrick (Vic) is on the far right in the hat. Amongst the spectators at the back of the pic are WA boys Len Laskewicz, John Balgarnie, Trevor Burslem, Tom Blaxell and Errol Considine. On the right are Fred Annesley and Colin Ladhams. Dave Ellis is at the front in the cap with his back to camera.

Len DibbenI was one of the contest organizers ie comp Marshall at the 1973 Aussie Titles in the South West. I was WASRA Vice President to President Ron ‘Doc’ Naylor at that time. I also had the task of transporting the media reporters around the venues ie Trevor Burslem & Doug White, as well as anyone else that needed transport. In 1974 I took the state team to QLD for the AUSSIE titles.

In the following photo I am wearing a Baron Wear striped T shirt, (very popular at that time), Levi Jeans & John Arnold Hararchi Leather Sandals from then Adelaide.

Photo: 1973 Aust Surf Titles. Contest official Len Dibben with official car (Kombi) in Yallingup car park. Len is with his daughter Kim and son Troy. Photo courtesy of Wendy Dibben.

Mark Hills – I was living Down South when the ‘73 Aust Titles were on. Lots of people came down to watch the event. Back then Bill Oddy was running Cordingley’s and the Titles were a big deal in WA. I acquired my first surf board after the Titles. It was a West Coast single fin left under Hideaway Homes at Yallingup by a contest competitor or spectator.

Coming soon 1973 Australian Surf Titles #2 Media coverage by Errol Considine.

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1973 The Rolling Stones – Perth concert images by Ric Chan

The Rolling Stones Pacific Tour 1973 was a concert tour of countries bordering the Pacific Ocean in January and February 1973 by the Rolling Stones. Music fans in Australia and New Zealand had not seen the Stones since February and March 1966.

The Stones started the tour with the three shows over 21 January and 22 January in Hawaii. The second leg of the tour started on 11 February with a single show at Auckland in New Zealand. 14 February saw the first show in Australia, with Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth and Sydney being visited in turn. The last show being 27 February in Sydney.

The Stone’s Perth concert was held on 24 February 1973 at the Western Australia Cricket ground (WACA).

The Stone’s line-up in Perth was:-

Mick Jagger – lead vocals, harmonica

Keith Richards – guitar, backing vocals

Mick Taylor – guitar

Bill Wyman – bass guitar

Photo journalist Ric Chan covered the Stone’s Perth concert for the Independent Newspaper.

Photo: 1976 Photo journo Ric Chan. Image: Ric Chan.

This is a collection of Ric’s photos of The Stone’s Perth concert.

Photo: 1973 Stones concert in Perth. Mick Jagger & Keith Richards. Ric Chan pic.

Photo: 1973 Stones concert in Perth. Mick Jagger’s shiny backside. Ric Chan pic.

Photo: 1973 Stones concert in Perth. Mick Jagger. Ric Chan pic.

Photo: 1973 Stones concert in Perth. Keith Richards, Mick Jagger & Bill Wyman. Ric Chan pic.

Photo: 1973 Stones concert in Perth. Mick Jagger. Ric Chan pic.

Photo: 1973 Stones concert in Perth. Mick Jagger. Ric Chan pic.

Photo: 1973 Stones concert in Perth. Mick Jagger & Keith Richards. Ric Chan pic.

Photo: 1973 Stones concert in Perth. Concert audience at the WACA. Ric Chan pic.

Photo: 1973 Stones concert in Perth. Mick Jagger. Ric Chan pic.

Photo: 1973 Stones concert in Perth. Mick Jagger & Keith Richards. Ric Chan pic.

Photo: 1973 Stones concert in Perth. Mick Jagger & Keith Richards. Ric Chan pic.

Photo: 1973 Stones concert in Perth. Keith Richards and Bill Wyman. Ric Chan pic.

Click on this link to view Elton John’s 1971 Australian Tour – Perth concert images by Ric Chan

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Rob Ryan’s first surf trip to Margaret River

Rob Ryan (NSW) is the founder and administrator of the Museum of Surf web and Facebook sites.

These are Rob’s memories of his first surf trip to Margaret River in WA.

My first trip to Margaret River was 1970 and it was dirt road nearly all the way. If I remember correctly there was one guy out and the next morning surfed with two guys. That was it for 3 days!

When everyone else went to Bali, I decided to get in my Kombi and go on a trip to WA instead. I went all through Vic, SA, and surfed all the known breaks and some I’m sure were never surfed?

I started in Sydney went all the way around the coast where possible! I met so many people I wish I could remember their names, other than the big names of the era. I surfed Lorne Point with Wayne Lynch. That was an eye opener. Just watching him I learnt so much.

There was a mouse plague at Cactus in South Australia, millions of the buggers all through the Kombi. It smelt like mice for a month.

Photo: 1971 WA’s Neil Sadlier with his Holden panel van and boards at Cactus. Neil Sadlier pic.

I just camped were I could and did odd jobs as I travelled. I broke down on the Nullarbor, it was red dirt, as most roads were. The fuel was evaporating in the fuel lines causing an air lock. I was laying under the Kombi until a truck pulled over and the guy undid the fuel line let the air out and poured a bit of water on the fuel pump. I was worried about using all my water so I drank it and pissed on the pump.

Photo: 1970s Queenslander Peter Lackey’s Kombi in Bunbury WA. Ric Chan pic.

Margaret River was a really small town then. The biggest surprise was the size of the Kangaroos? I arrived at Margaret’s late afternoon and saw one guy out just as he caught his last wave. I am really bad with names, but I think his name was Tony Hardy!

I do remember heading south of Margaret’s and getting three flat tyres on that road. I had to get a lift with another Truck driver to get the fixed and he then told me to meet him at the turnoff that afternoon and he would take me back to the Kombi, great bloke, his name was Les.

Photo: 1972 unidentified surfer at Margaret River main break. Ric Chan pic.

I surfed all around the area but I broke or bruised a rib at what you guys call North Point now, so just headed north to Carnarvon. Saw the biggest White Pointer I have ever seen at the Bluff. I reckon 5 meters long, it was like a bus swimming past me with this big black eye checking me out. The Kombi just kept purring along except for 17 flat tyres?

Photo: 1970s Red Bluff in North West WA. Jim Keenan pic.

There is a left hand break about 50klm south of Perth, it may have been Avalon Point. It was seriously one of the best days of my life, beautiful weather, dolphins in the water, two guys in a beat up old Land Rover camping for about a week. Beers of a night, waves all day!!

That’s about all I remember, except surfing some of the best waves of the trip.

Sadly I lost all of my photos of the trip in a flood. Maybe that’s where the passion came from to preserve surfing history?

Cheers

Rob

Click on the following links to view Rob’s Museum of Surf sites.

Web site            http://www.museumofsurf.com

Facebook           https://www.facebook.com/museumofsurf/

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1970 John ‘Noddy’ Sprengles surfing Gracetown images by Jim Breadsell

Inaugural North End Board Club member Jim Breadsell captured these surfing images of John ‘Noddy’ Sprengles. They were taken Easter 1970 at Gracetown in the South West.

Murray Smith:We used to surf Big Rock and South Point at Gracetown a lot in those days. Noddy was a talented surfers from North End Board Club at Scarborough. He thrived on South West waves and had a holiday property near Redgate for 7-8 years”.

1. BIG ROCK images by Jim Breadsell

Photo: 1970 John ‘Noddy’ Sprengles at Big Rock #1.

Photo: 1970 John ‘Noddy’ Sprengles at Big Rock #2.

Photo: 1970 John ‘Noddy’ Sprengles at Big Rock #3.

Photo: 1970 John ‘Noddy’ Sprengles at Big Rock #4.

Photos: 1970 John ‘Noddy’ Sprengles at Big Rock #5.

Photo: 1970 John ‘Noddy’ Sprengles at Big Rock #6.

Photo: 1970 John ‘Noddy’ Sprengles at Big Rock #7.

Photo: 1970 John ‘Noddy’ Sprengles at Big Rock #8.

Photos: 1970 John ‘Noddy’ Sprengles at Big Rock #9.

2. SOUTH POINT images by Jim Breadsell

Photo: 1970 John ‘Noddy’ Sprengles at South Point #1.

Photo: 1970 John ‘Noddy’ Sprengles at South Point #2.

Photo: 1970 John ‘Noddy’ Sprengles at South Point #3.

Coming soon 1970 Geoff Culmsee surfing Big Rock images by Jim Breadsell.

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