Margaret River Main Break is internationally renowned as the premier surf break in the South West region. It is one of Australia’s most consistent big wave locations and hosts amateur & pro surfing competitions. The annual Drug Aware Margaret River Pro contest is telecast to a world-wide audience. Like other popular surf breaks, it gets busy during holiday periods.

Back in 70s’ State & National Titles were held at Marg’s, but it was pre the hordes (and FIFO workers) and uncrowded mid-week surfs were possible.

Surf photographer-journalist Ric Chan captured these quieter moments at Marg’s in 1976. Marg’s surfer Adrian Wilson has provided comments on some of the images.

Photo: 1976 Randall Owens & his Toyota Land Cruiser at early morning session Surfers Point. Photo Ric Chan.

Adrian WilsonRandall used to wear boardies and a wetsuit top….you may remember he wrote the surfing column in the Sunday Independent in the mid 70s.
He was a good surfer in big waves…goofy foot.
I recall one very large day…sets breaking in the middle of the bay…I think I was paddling out with Steve Randall…we saw Randall Owens take a very large left. He got about half way down the face, caught a rail then tumbled into the pit only to be sucked over the falls.
As you can imagine we were concerned for his safety…. especially as he did not surface for about 100m with his board long gone heading for the middle of the bay.
He survived, but retold the story many times over the years.

1976 Marg River line-up early morning - Ric Chan 006

Photo: 1976 Adrian Wilson surfing classic low tide right handers at Margs. Ric Chan pic.

Adrian WilsonThere were perfect small medium rights. I was riding a 6ft 8 inch shaped by Ian Cairns….those boards, about 20 inches wide and 3 inches thick with plenty of rocker were very suited to hard bottom turns and powerful surfing especially for bigger guys. Nothing like what the modern surfers can do (unless you were Kanga)…but a lot of fun…Ric Chan used to walk out on the reef and take photos.

1976 Margaret River Adrian Wilson Ric Chan IMG_0002 (1)

Photo: 1976 Chris Fullston surfing Marg River left. Ric Chan pic.

Adrian WilsonI reckon the goofy footer could be Chris Fullston. Chris and I used to surf together a lot in those days…he ripped at Margs riding boards that were ahead of their time……triple flyer pintails…very fast and good for slashing turns….exactly what Chris used to do. Chris got on well with Ric Chan….we used to see him at Margs early, after he had driven straight from Gobbles Night Club where he used to DJ at in Perth.

1976 Marg River Chris Fullston - Ric Chan IMG_0002 (2)

Photo: 1976 solid Marg’s Main Break. Ric Chan pic.

1976 Marg River Main Break line-up big - Ric Chan 008

Photo: 1976 Marg River Bombie. Ric Chan pic.

1976 Marg River Bombie - Ric Chan 007

Photo: 1976 Unsealed Surfers Point car park. Ric Chan pic.

1976 Marg River Surfers Pt car park  - Ric Chan 006

Photo: 1976 Craig Bettenay surfing Margs Left. Ric Chan pic.

1976 Marg River Craig Bettenay - Ric Chan 002

Photo: 1976 Tony Hardy surfing Marg’s Right. Ric Chan pic.

1976 Marg River Tony Hardy - Ric Chan DSC00038

Photos: 1976 Marg River surfers. Ric Chan pics.
Top: (Left) Dave Bailey. (Right) Mark Wells.
Bottom: (Left) Wayne Kissick & girlfriend (Right) Jeff Cedevic.

Adrian WilsonWhen I was a gremmie at Margs, Jeff Cedevic was part of a local crew that surfed the Point in the 70s. He was a great big wave surfer, having a classic back hand style. I can still picture his deep bottom turns on big left hand peaks…..from memory Jeff had a bad surf accident at Margs breaking his pelvis on a very large day. Jeff later moved to Tassie with his wife Chris ( Gary and Sadie Keys also made the move)….sadly Jeff died of cancer in Tassie.

1976 Marg River people - Ric Chan collage_photocat

 

 

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1978 Rotto Surf Trip with Gaz, Al & Feggsey **updated 1 March 2016**

**Update 1 Mar 2016 ** Steve Koehne & Adrian Wilson identified the unknown person in the bakery pic posted 20 Feb 2016. He is ‘Flipper’ Gallagher a world class body surfer from Fiji and the year has been changed from 1974 to 1978.

In 1978 Gary Greirson & Al Bean from Ocean Surf Shop & surf rat Chris ‘Feggsey’ Fullston travelled to Rotto for a surf trip. The boys caught the ferry & surfed Strickland Bay.

Surf photographer Ric Chan travelled with the boys and took these pics.

Photo: 1978 Rotto. Lunch break at Rotto Bakery. L-R Gaz Greirson, Al Bean, Feggsey and ‘Flipper’ Gallagher. Ric pic.

1973 Rotto Greirson, Al Bean, Fullston, unknown - Ric Chan DSC00051

Photo: 1978 Rotto. ‘Flipper’ Gallagher  enjoying lunch at the Bakery. Ric pic.

1973 Rotto unknown - Ric Chan DSC00047

Photo: 1978 Rotto. Strickland Bay line-up. Ric pic.

1973 Rotto Strickland Bay - Ric Chan DSC00077

Photo: 1978 Rotto. Surfer Gaz Greirson. Ric pic.

1973 Rotto Gary Greirson - Ric Chan DSC00064

Photo: 1978 Rotto. Gaz surfing Strickland Bay. Ric pic.

1973 Rotto Gary Greirson - Ric Chan DSC00069

Photo: 1978 Rotto. Surfer Al Bean. Ric pic.

1973 Rotto Al Bean - Ric Chan DSC00053 (1)

Photos: 1978 Rotto. Al Bean surfing Strickland Bay. Ric pics.

1973 Rotto Al Bean surfing 2 collage_photocat

Photo: 1978 Rotto. Surfer Chris ‘Feggsey’ Fullston. Ric pic.

1973 Rotto Chris Fullston - Ric Chan DSC00054

Photos: 1978 Rotto. #1 ‘Feggsey’ surfing Strickland Bay. Ric pics.

1973 Rotto Feggsie surfing 5 collage_photocat

Photos: 1978 Rotto. #2 ‘Feggsey’ surfing Strickland Bay. Ric pics.

1973 Rotto Feggsie surfing 6 collage_photocat

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Bali Hai Surf Hut at Yalls

In 1975 Alan & Hattie Mills the lease holders of Surfside suggested to John Malloy and David & Helen Hattrick that they would fund the building of a surf shop if John & the Hattrick’s helped with construction and run the surf business. The deal went ahead and the Mills contributed $5k for materials while the others assisted with the construction phase.

The new surf shop was built in front of the two small cottages on the south side of Surfside. Steve Carroll was the builder, Tony Harbison did the roofing and Michael Simpson built the internal loft and staircase.

In 1975 Helen Hattrick and John Malloy created the Bali Hai Surf Hut name & stocked the shop with surfboards, ugg boots, women’s clothes & boardies. A lot of the items were made by Helen & John at Wyadup. Helen crocheted bikinis and sewed board shorts.

Photos: 1970s Bali Hai Surf Hut at Yalls (Left) 1975 Bali Hai Surf Hut. Photo Credit Helen ‘Spotty’ Hattrick (Right) 1978 view of Bali Hai surf hut and Surfside complex across beach car park . Photo courtesy Vance Burrow.

1970s Bali Hai Surf Hut IMG_021

Simultaneously John Molloy & David Hattrick set up a Pipelines Legropes business at Wyadup. In 1976 there was a partnership disagreement and David & Helen kept Pipelines and John retained Bali Hai.

In 1976 John worked up north on the Dampier to Tom Price railway for two years. During this time he ran Bali Hai from Boxing Day to Easter then would close the shop for winter and head back up north.

After 2 years on the railways John started roofing work with the Simpson bros (George Michael & John).

Photo: 1976 Bali Hai surf hut advt. Image courtesy of WASRA Spring Title Program.

1976 Bali-Hai Surf Shop advt WASRA Spring Title Prog IMG_0001

In 1981 John Malloy handed the Bali-Hai Surf Hut to Tom Hoye. Tom ran his retail surfboard business at the shop until Drew Brent-White took over circa 1985.

In 1988 Tania Hills and her son Mark took over Bali Hai Surf Hut and changed the shop name to Hillzeez Yallingup Beach Surf Shop. They ran Hillzeez Surf Shop from 1988-92.

Photo: 1990 Hillzeez Yallingup Beach Surf Shop. Photo credit Tania Hills

1990 Hillzeez Yalls Beach Surf Shop - Tania Hills pic IMG_01

There were Fashion Parades and parties held at Hillzeez’s Yallingup Beach Surf Shop.

Photos: 1990 party outside Hillzeez’s Yallingup Beach Surf Shop. Mark Hills bottom right. Photos courtesy of Mark Hills.

1990 Hillzeez surf shop party compilation IMG_003

After Hillzeez left the premises, the shop name changed to Treasures on The Beach, Yallingup Surf Shop and Surfside Beach Shack.

Photo: 1993 Yallingup Surf Shop advt. Photo courtesy of Wet Side News.

1993 Yalls Surf Shop Advt Wet Side News

Subsequent surf shop managers were Jim & Liz Watts, Lisa Costello, Lisa Krasenstein, an English woman, Chrystal Simpson and Chris & Lesley Fullston.

Lisa Krasenstein managed Treasures on the Beach. She recalls “it used to be a ‘man feast’ watching the surfing guys stripping & changing in the beach car park.”

Photo: 2005 Yallingup Beach Shack managers Chris & Lesley Fullston. Photo credit Loz Smith.

2005 Yalls Surfside Beach Shack Chris & Lesley Fullston Loz pic IMG_001

In 2006 developers demolished the Surfside Beach Shack and the rest of Surfside complex to make way for up-market holiday accommodation on the site.

Photo: 2006 Surfside Beach Shack prior to demolition. Photo credit Peter Mac.

2006 Yalls Surfside Beach Shack colour - P Mac pic

Photo: 2006 Surfside Beach Shack after demolition. Photo Dave Ellis.

2006 demise Surfside D Ellis pic

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1970s-1980s Chris ‘Feggsey’ Fullston

In the early 1970s Mandurah surfer Chris ‘Feggsey’ Fullston was a team rider for Len Dibben (rode a wide Bonzer) and Cordingleys before moving to Greirson Surfboards and Redhot Sticks (made by Ian Cairns at Bicton) in the 1980s.

Chris surfed Hawaii in 1975 and 76 with Ian Cairns.  He then became a Pro Surfer on the fledging Pro circuit and was a finalist in the Gunstun 500 surf comp in Durban South Africa from 1976 to 78. He also competed successfully at the Bells Comp Trials in Victoria and the Stubbies Pro comp in Queensland.

In WA he won the first Margaret River Classic in 1978, a Coca Cola comp at Trigg Point, a Sunshine Coast comp in Geraldton, two Spring Titles and represented the State 8 times in short board Surfing Teams.

In the 1980s he added another string to his bow & began cray fishing in Mandurah, Yallingup, Greenhead and Kalbarri on his cray boats ‘Charisma’ & then ‘Wave Dancer’.

In 1997 at age 42 he took up long boarding and won numerous State long board surfing titles.

Chris now lives on a farm in Tasmania with his wife Lesley. He recently won the Tasmanian State short & long board surfing titles in the over 55 division. You could write a book about Feggsey!

Chris on the beach at Margs in 1975. Photo Ric Chan

1975 MR Chris Fulston - R Chan img548A

1975 Chris Fullston surfing solid Margaret River main break. Image credit Ric Chan.

1975 MR Chris Fulston surfing - R Chan img513A