Then & Now

Back in 72 young city based surfers Bruce King, Micko Gracie, Peter McDonald & Bob Monkman headed off overseas on a world surfing trip. The boys surfed good waves in South Africa, England, Europe & Indonesia before making their way home.

Photo: 1972 Departure Perth Airport L-R Bruce, Micko, Mac & Bob. Photo courtesy of Bruce King.

1972 Perth Airport departure Bruce, Micko, Mac & Bob. Bruce pic 002

Bruce King recalls: “It wasn’t till after Bobbo drove through about 6 red traffic lights in South Africa that we discovered he was colour blind. He just assumed the bottom light was green like in OZ, but over there the colours are reversed. Peter Mac and I scored jobs as lifeguards at Port Elizabeth, they thought coming from OZ we could all swim like Murray Rose who was the Olympic champion at that time. ”

Photos: 1972-3 holiday snaps #1 courtesy of Bruce King.

Top Left: 1972 Mac & Bruce lifesavers in Port Elizabeth South Africa.
Top Right: 1972 Bruce, Bob & Mac at Victoria Falls in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe).
Bottom Left: 1973 Bruce, Mac & others at windmill in Holland.
Bottom Right: 1973 Denise, Micko & George on Spanish beach.

1970s world surf tour - Bruce King IMG_001

Photos: 1973 holiday snaps #2 courtesy of Bruce King.

Top Left: 1973 Kombi breakdown Micko, Bob & Bruce Transkei in Zululand South Africa.
Top Right: 1973 Port Elizabeth weekly pig-out Bob, Micko & Mac South Africa
Bottom Left: 1973 Port Elizabeth Flat Mac, Micko & Bob South Africa.
Bottom Right: 1973 Giraffe & Micko South Africa.

1973 South Africa compilation IMG_002

Now (43 years later) they surf & live in the South West. The boys met up recently for a reunion at Bob Monkman’s place in Dunsborough .

Photo: 2015 Reunion. L-R Bob, Micko, Bruce & Mac. Photo courtesy of Bruce King.

2015 Reunion Bob, Micko, Bruce & Mac. Bruce pic 002


1985 Yallingup Malibu Classic recollections by Greg Laurenson

The annual Yallingup Malibu Classic (Yal Mal) will celebrate it’s 30th Anniversary at Yallingup on 29 & 30 November 2014.

In 2004 WA Surf Industry legend Greg Laurenson recorded his recollections of the first competition held in 1985. An excerpt from his recollections follows:-

“It was just a few mates, Tony Harbison, Johnboy Molloy, Bob Monkman and myself, and of course Loz – he’s the one that put soul into the event. We thought that it would be a good idea to have a little comp at our home break, any money raised would go back into the community – swings for the kids’ maybe, who knows. Anyway, that first Mal Classic little it was not. The bright sunlit crystal clear water of Yallingup lagoon in summer had given way to a heavy overcast sky and a larger than large raw southern ocean swell. Great, who’s in the first heat? Not me I hope was the consensus and it was amazing how many sprained ankles appeared. But the two days went off really well, we all got hammered, Clary Brent-White broke my new board into three pieces, Peter Dyson made us all laugh and John Clemenger, WA’s wandering surf legend took out the event. So that was that – the first one. Who would have thought that over the following years the event would develop and grow as it has into such a beautiful uplifting occasion”.

1985 Finalists in the first Yal Mal standing in front of the old brick toilet block at Yallingup. The photo taken by Loz Smith has been signed by the finalists and Greg Laurenson. It was purchased by the Burrow family at auction. L-R Bob Monkman, Robbo O’Brien (worst wipe-out), Peter Mac, John Clemenger, Ian Mitchell, Peter Dyson, Ross Tomsett, Cliff Hills, Gene Hall, Tony Harbison, Keith Campbell & Kevin ‘Twiggy’ Sharland (surf photographer) – Loz Smith image courtesy of Vance Burrow.

1985 Yal Mal finalists - Loz Pic (signed) DSC_4751

Another excerpt from Greg Laurenson’s recollections of first Yal Mal follows:-

“Anticipation starts to fill the air as the day’s events draw to a close. It’s the back tie and boardies Surfers Ball at Surfside. Later that evening all the crew and their girls are fully buffed and ready to rock. Gina and her wonderful band were there – I could tell it was her from the first note. Memories of Caves House on a Sunday afternoon with Nance & Vance Burrow and Gina on vocals came flooding back – truly good times. So let the good times roll and roll they did except for one minor hiccup with the weather gods and as with any real surfers ball a visit from the police just after midnight just to give the show a bit of cred”.

1987 Yal Mal competition tent and competitors on the lawn at Yallingup. Photo courtesy of Andy Jones.

1985 Yalls Yal Mal comp Andy Jones pic_0010A

2014 Veteran Yallingup surfer Peter Dyson modelling Yal Mal 30th Anniversary t-shirt designed by Loz Smith – Photo credit Loz Smith.

2014 Quindalup Peter Dyson in 1985 Yal Mal t-shirt Loz design & picA


1972 Micko Gracie surfer, sailor & traveller

Former Maylands goofy footer Michael ‘Micko’ Gracie has been surfing in the SW since the late 60s. In the 90s he moved to the region to be closer to his favourite wave at Three Bears. Micko is still a keen surfer (his spot is reserved at Bears) and he gets away most winters to surf on remote Indian Ocean islands.

In 1972 Micko travelled to South Africa, England and Europe on a surfing trip with Bob Monkman, Peter McDonald & Bruce King. The boys surfed good waves on their travels. In 1973 Micko & Peter McDonald left the other boys in cold Europe and travelled to Bali on their way home to WA.  They got lucky &  surfed big, perfect waves at Uluwatu on Bali’s Bukit Peninsula.

1973 Balinese locals & Micko (on right). Photo credit Peter McDonald.

1973 Bali Micko Gracie with bali friends in losmen - P Mac pic IMG_02

In 1974 Micko & Peter McDonald started building a fibreglass yacht in Maylands. Peter’s enthusiasm for the project eventually waned, but Micko carried on and finished the yacht. He named the yacht Mimi by using the first two initials of his & his wife Michelle’s name. In 1984 he sailed Mimi around the top of Australia with his wife Michelle and son Kai.

Yacht images (on left) Peter & Micko sitting on the unfinished hull in Maylands. (on right) Micko sailing Mimi past Cairns. Images courtesy of Peter McDonald.

1974-84 Micko Gracie boat Mimi - P Mac pics

1969 Surf trip to Queensland in Micko’s VW. L-R Mark Rudenburg, Micko Gracie & Peter Mac at Crescent Heads. Mark Rudenburg, George Simpson & Mick ‘Micky’ Pearce discovered Bears surf break in 1972. Tom Hoye initially named the surf break MGM after the 3 boys – see Surfing Down South book for details. Photo credit Peter McDonald.

1969 Crescent Heads Mark Rudenberg, Micko Gracie & Peter Mac.- P Mac pic IMG_0001