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.

1973 Marg River Aust Surf Titles Michael Peterson (Qsld) Trev Burslem Tom Blaxell Errol Considine, Doug Claw Warbrick (Vic) - Ric Chan1

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


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.”

1978 Sth Pt Aust Titles judging panel Jock Campbell & Barry Nettle- Ric Chan 004

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

1978 Oz Titles Sth Pt surfing IMG_003

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

1978 Sth Pt Aust Titles compilation - Ric Chan pics IMG_001

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

1978 Oz Titles officials & spectators IMG_011

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.

1978 Sth Pt Aust Titles compilation IMG_002

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



1980 Mitch Thorson & Dave Kennedy at South Point

NZ surf photographer Ric Chan took these 1980’s photos of young surfer Mitch Thorson & surf industry legend Dave Kennedy at South Point on Cowaramup Bay.

Photo: 1980 Mitch Thorson & Dave Kennedy preparing to go surfing at South Point. Photo Credit Ric Chan.

1980 South Point Mitch Thorson & Dave Kennedy  - Ric Chan img757

In 1981 Mitch won the coveted Duke Kahanmoku Trophy for the most emerging surfer at the National Surfing Titles held at Bells Beach Victoria.

Images: 1981 Mitch celebrating his Duke award at the Bells Beach contest. Images courtesy of West Coast Surfer mag.

1981 Mitch Thorson Duke Kahanamoku Award

Mitch Thorson won three Australian Surfing Titles before turning Pro in 1983. After a successful ASP career spanning 10+ years he returned to amateur ranks and won a 4th Australian Surfing Title. Mitch now lives & surfs with his family at Margaret River.

Photo: 1981 Mitch Thorson carving on a Star Surfboard at South Point. Photo credit Ric Chan.

1981 Sth Pt Mitch Thorson - Ric Chan 013

Dave Kennedy opened & ran Star Surf & Skate surf shop in Perth city from 1980 until 2006 when at the age of 51 he lost his battle with leukaemia.

Photo: 1980 Dave Kennedy with a Star Surfboard at South Point. Photo credit Ric Chan.

1980 South Point Dave Kennedy & Star Board - Ric Chan DSC00002

See Surfing WA Celebrating 50 Years book for more details of the two legends.


1977 Surfing Santa

In the 70s Steve ‘Sheepdog’ Cockburn was a member of the Sand-n-Sea Surf Riders Club and represented the state at seven Australian Surfing Titles as a board rider or judge.

Local freelance photographer Alf Sorbello came up with the idea of photographing Santa surfing at Scarborough Beach. He arranged a photo shoot with Sheepdog and provided the Santa costume and cotton wool beard. Sheepdog recalls “On the day the surf was small and the cotton wool beard got a bit out of control, being full of water and drooping. Otherwise it was a pretty uneventful day. Alf took a few photos then headed back to work”. An image from the photo shoot appeared in the Sunday Times.

1977 Sheepdog surfing at Scarborough in a Santa suit. Photo credit Alf Sorbello.

1977 Surfing Santa photo of Steve Cockburn by Alf Sorbello 061

1974 Sheepdog at an Australian Surfing Titles function held at Burleigh Heads Queensland. L-R Mike Mickelson, Greg ‘Pants’ Laurenson, Sheepdog and Wayne ‘Rabbit’ Bartholomew (Qld). Queensland’s ‘Rabbit’ Bartholomew went on to win the World Surfing Championship in 1978. Photo credit Steve Cockburn.

1974 Aust Titles Burleigh Heads Qld Mike Mickelson, Greg Laurenson, Steve Cockburn & Rabbit Bartholomew (Qld) - Steve Cockburn IMG



1969 The Fish & Baddy @ Margs

In 1969 Australia’s top surfers descended on Marg’s for the first Australian Titles held in WA. Interstate competitors Wayne ‘The Fish’ Lynch (Vic) and David ‘Baddy’ Treloar (NSW) finished First & Second respectively in the Junior Men’s division of the Titles. This image shows ‘The Fish’ free surfing Marg’s left hander. Image credit Ric Chan.

1969 MR Wayne Lynch Vic - R Chan  img179

1969 David ‘Baddy’ Treloar free surfing Marg’s right hander. Image credit Ric Chan.

1969 MR David Baddie Treloar NSW - R Chan  img181