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Design of movie ticket for 1969 ‘Evolution’ surf film.

In 1969, John Arnold Surf Machines in Adelaide got in touch with New Zealand photo-journalist Ric Chan. At the time, Ric was touring the East Coast of Australia in his gold coloured Kombi. John Arnold commissioned him to travel from Adelaide to Western Australia, to cover the first Australian Surfing Titles held in WA and design a movie ticket for Paul Witzigs’ 1969 Evolution surf film.

Click on this link to view Ric Chan’s coverage of 1969 Australian Surf Titles in WA

Ric’s photos and article covering the Title events held at Scarborough, Margaret River and Yallingup, were then featured on the poster sized movie ticket for Paul Witzigs’ Evolution surf film. Ric’s commentary is accompanied by reviews from surf legends Bob McTavish and John Arnold. The ticket doubled as the movie poster and was published by John W Robertson in Adelaide, June 1969.

The front of the poster shows a John Arnold Surf Machine logo and is accompanied by a well-known image of Wayne Lynch from Victoria. The photo by lensman John Pennings, was taken at the 1968 Australian Surfing Titles at Palm Beach, on the NSW coast.

Image: 1969 front of Evolution surf film ticket. Wayne Lynch photo by John Pennings.

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The back of the Evolution surf film ticket features reviews by Bob McTavish, Ric Chan and John Arnold with surf photos by Ric Chan.

Image: 1969 back of Evolution surf film ticket. Photos by Ric Chan.

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Image: Bob McTavish’s ‘Evolution film and it’s maker’ review on Evolution surf film ticket. Photos by Ric Chan.

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Image: Ric Chan’s ‘1969 Australian Surf Titles’ report on Evolution surf film ticket. Photos by Ric Chan.

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Image: John Arnold’s ‘Wayne Lynch’ review on Evolution surf film ticket. Photos by Ric Chan.

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In 2014, Ric Chan presented an original edition of the Evolution surf film ticket to Surfing WA. The ticket, now a collector’s item for surf history buffs, was placed in Surfing WA’s history collection.

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Ric Chan’s coverage of 1969 Australian Surf Titles in WA.

In 1965 young New Zealand surfer and photographer Ric Chan moved from New Zealand and landed in Brisbane Australia seeking adventure.

RicI 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.

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RicOn 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.

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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.

Contest Results

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.

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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.

RicWA 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.

 

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Photo: 1969 Margaret River line-up for the contest. Contest official Trevor Burslem is walking down the track in his parka. Ric Chan pic.

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Photos: 1969 Contest officials & photographers at Margaret River. Richard Harvey NSW (3rd from right top pic) Ric Chan pics.

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Photos: 1969 Contest spectators at Surfers Point at Margaret River. John Balgarnie WA bottom right. Ric Chan pics.

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Photos: 1969 competitors preparing for heats at Margaret River. Right: Richard Harvey NSW. Ric Chan pics

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Photo:  1969 David ‘Baddy’ Treloar NSW competing in the Junior Mens division at Margaret River. Ric Chan pic

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Photo:  1969 Ian Cairns WA competing in the Junior Mens division at Margaret River. Ric Chan pic.

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Photo:  1969 Wayne Lynch VIC competing in the Junior Mens division at Yallingup. Ric Chan pic.

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Photo: 1969 Robert ‘Nat’ Young NSW in the Mens division at Margaret River. Ric Chan pic.

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Photo: 1969 Peter Drouyn NSW in the Mens division at Margaret River. Ric Chan pic.

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Photos: 1969 unidentified surfer in the Mens division at Margaret River. Ric Chan pic.

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RicI 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.

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1969 Australian Surf Titles in WA – Marg’s images by Gavin McCaughey

In May 1969 the Nation’s best surfers competed in the Australian Surfing Championships held in WA.

These were the first Oz Titles held in WA and the first opportunity for WA surfers to see World Surfing Champion Nat Young and the cream of OZ surfers competing in metro & SW waves. Prior to that time, WA surfer’s exposure to the top OZ surfers was mainly through surf magazines and surf movies.

Like a lot of other WA surfers, young Scarborough surfer Gavin McCaughey followed the contest from Scarborough to Margaret River & then Yallingup in the South West.

These are Gavin’s photos and comments on some of the Eastern States surfers competing in the ’69 Oz Titles at Marg’s.

GavinWorld Champion Nat Young (NSW) broke his big wave surfboard in the solid waves at Marg’s Main Break. Nat changed to his other surfboard and went onto win the Open Men’s division.

Photo: 1969 World Champion Nat Young leaving the surf with broken surfboard at Marg’s. Gavin McCaughey pic.

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GavinIn this photo NSW team mates Nat Young & Ted Spencer are repairing Nat’s replacement surfboard on the beach at Marg’s. In the background watching the process are L-R WA representative Kevin Ager, Steve ‘Sheepdog’ Cockburn, unidentified, WASRA President Ronald ‘Doc’ Naylor (striped shirts were his signature) and a couple of unidentified eastern states surfers.

Kevin Ager – I do have a clear memory of the event surrounding this photo which Nat alludes to in his autobiog. “Nat’s Nat and that’s that” but it (my memory) is not as dramatic as Nat’s narrative. Talk about authors licence, but it does make for a good read!

In fact what Nat had done, prior to Gavin’s pic, was extend the hard edge further into the softer leading main rail section, as the board had little grip in the more powerful waves. Remember it was a Dewie Webber 7ft something, quite full Californian influenced design. Nat was struggling for drive and speed compared to Drouyn and Richard Harvey in the early heats when it was pumping.

After the bog mix gelled he placed it under a car exhaust to promote a quick cure. Unfortunately the mix had been over-primed and the heat of the exhaust made the bog mix ignite, badly burning the board.

The photo actually captures Nat and good mate Ted repairing the damaged section.

As mentioned before, Nats version is more sinister rather than hilarious, which it was during the rescue amid too many trying to help.

Photo: 1969 Nat Young, unidentified & Ted Spencer repairing Nat’s burnt surfboard at Marg’s. Gavin McCaughey pic.

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GavinThis pic shows the back of Paul Witzig (NSW surf journalist/photographer) whilst he checked out Marg’s main break.

Photo: 1969 Paul Witzig heading out for a surf at Marg’s. Gavin McCaughey pic.

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GavinThis pic shows Peter Drouyn (Qsld) with the surfing priest (whose name escapes me) at Marg’s. Peter finished 2nd to Nat in the Open division.

Photo: 1969 Surfing priest & Peter Drouyn chatting in Marg’s car park. Gavin McCaughey pic.

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Gavin – Wayne Lynch from Vic was one of the best junior surfer in World at that time and went on to win the Junior Title.

Photo: 1969 Wayne Lynch in the car park at Marg’s. Gavin McCaughey pic.

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The 69 Oz Surf Titles exposed the quality of SW waves to the world and many national & international surfers followed thereafter.

Coming soon Ric Chan’s coverage of the 1969 Australian Surfing Titles in WA.

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1973 Celebrity pic

NZ surf photographer/journalist Ric Chan took this Celebrity pic at the 1973 Australian Surfing Titles held at Margaret River WA.

It 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 was Australian Champion in 72 & 74 and  won many other major surfing competitions including the Bells Beach Classic. Although MP scored highly in the early rounds at Margs, fellow Queenslander Richard Harvey emerged victorious and Peter Townend was runner-up.

Photo: 1973 Aust Surfing Titles at Margaret River WA. MP (bottom left) is making his way through spectators to enter the water for his surfing heat. ‘Claw’ 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 & Errol Considine. Fred Annesley and Colin Ladhams are on the right. Dave Ellis is at the front in the cap with his back to camera. Photo credit Ric Chan.

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Let us know if you recognise others in this classic surf history pic.

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1978 OZ Surfing Titles at South Point WA

The 1978 Australian Surfing Titles were held at South Point Cowaramup Bay.

National contest winners were Open Mens: Colin Smith NSW, Junior Mens: Tom Carroll (NSW), Womens: Leith Temple (Qld) and WA’s Barry Young won the Seniors Mens Division.

Photo: 1978 Contest judges. L-R unidentified, WA’s Keith ‘Jock’ Campbell and Barry Nettles in dark jumpers and other unidentified persons officiating in the judging tent. Photo credit Ric Chan. (Jock was WASRA President 1978-80 and 1984-85. Barry was a member of Dolphins Board Club).

Tom Blaxell: “Barry used to be called ‘Tanker Channel’ because he always sat way out the back (about 50 metres further out than anyone else) to catch the real biggies.”

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Photos: 1978 contest surfing at South Point. Photos courtesy of Ric Chan.

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Photos: 78 Oz Titles Contest officials, spectators & wave line-up. Photos courtesy of Ric Chan.

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Photos: 78 Oz Titles contest officials & spectators. Photos courtesy of Ric Chan.

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Photos: 78 Oz Titles WA contest officials & competitors.

Left: WASRA Official Ken Trainer from Scarborough Board Club. Photo credit Ric Chan. (Ken Trainer & his father Percy served as WASRA Presidents and are both Life Members of Surfing WA).

Right: (Top) Ian ‘Kanga’ Cairns (dual World Cup winner 1975 & 1980) chatting with hospitality entrepreneur and former Cordingley Surfboards front man Bill Oddy. Photo credit Ric Chan.

Right: (Bottom) Yallingup’s Baz Young celebrating his win in the Senior Mens Division with friends at Margaret River. Photo credit Barry Young.

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For more information on contests & WASRA officials refer to Surfing WA Celebrating 50 Years book.