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TV star fades to black – but Down South mates’ memories last forever by Errol Considine

Chuck Morton-Stewart started out as a grommet on Scarborough Beach in the mid-1960s and later in his national TV persona as ‘Charles Stewart’ travelled the world surfing, skiing and covering water sports… being paid to drive fast cars…and even made “Cleo” magazine’s annual list of ‘Australia’s most eligible bachelors’!!

Photo: 1960s Chuck Morton-Stewart at Scarborough vs Warrain inter club competition held at Leighton. Brian Trainer pic.

From 1968/69 when members of our Scarborough crew started getting drivers’ licences, we clocked up thousands of kilometres in Holden panel vans and utes, and assorted other clapped out vehicles, making the Friday night trek Down South (often after a few beers at the White Sands pub in Scabs).

Chuck, Peter “PB” Bevan, John “Jake” Jacobs, me and a bunch of other surf nuts hunkered down in sleeping bags on air mattress’ on the lawn at Yallingup on Friday nights – unless it rained and we dragged them into the old dunnies, before waking with the rising sun on Saturday to see what Huey had dished up for us for the weekend. No internet swell and wind forecasts, or mobile phones back then – the only reliable test was being there and the naked eye.

One Saturday, Chuck, Jake and I woke to big Yallingup and a moderate sou’ easter blowing. Perfect for Injidup Point. In those days you could drive out on a track to just behind the point to a small parking area about adjacent to the break. [The track was later swallowed up by the giant sand dune which now spills into the waters of the bay]

It was firing that day. We were first in the water. The rest of the crew from Yalls soon followed. We surfed multiple sessions, all day, in great waves. We were last to leave. Unfortunately, John’s Holden ute was crap in the sand and we were soon bogged …and stuck there all night – arrggghhhhh!! Hungry, thirsty, salt-encrusted and taking sweltering refuge in sleeping bags, as whenever we put our heads out were attacked by hordes of mosquitos. It was a very, very long night

Rescue came next morning when we walked around Inji bay and found some mates checking out Carpark. They drove us back around the track. Together, we all lifted up the ute, shoved tree branches torn off trees under the wheels….and pushed the bugger out, with the wheels spinning in the soft sand.

By 1969/70, we started getting panel vans to sleep in during our almost weekly Down South treks. For a year, Chuck, Peter Bevan and I later rented a diary farmer’s old weatherboard cottage located on the road from Cowaramup town to the coast (he’d moved up the hill to a new house but left the power connected to the old place) for $52, paid in advance….i.e. for ONE YEAR (do the math = $1 a week!).

And we started dragging our girlfriends along (some which were later to become wives) for what would now look like pretty primitive living conditions…the hot water for showers in the old cottage coming from a pipe running through a wood-burning stove in the kitchen. One Friday night, I arrived with my lady (now the Missus) in a fierce winter storm to find a couple of pigs had broken in and were occupying one room!

…but it was all part of the great adventure we were having back then. And we were getting heaps of great, uncrowded waves when you knew pretty much everybody in the line-up – how lucky were us baby boomer surfing generation back then, eh??!

Fast forward to January 2016 and my old school, surfing and journalism buddy Chuck was out on Sydney harbour for his weekly group power surf ski paddling session led by close mate, the legendary ironman champion Guy Leech when… the lights went out

Chuck – non-smoker, fit, still trim – had a heart attack. Guy’s lifesaving skills kept him breathing until the ambulance arrived but he never regained consciousness in the hospital and a few days later the life support system was switched off. And he was gone. It was big shock and raw for me. But time heals a little …and now, just over a year later, it’s time to put down some stuff about his remarkable life, especially related to surfing…………..

Tom Blaxell recalled when they were at Hale School and he was making his first backyard boards at his family’s home on West Coast Highway at south Scarborough, 15-year-old Chuck was urging him to go commercial and make a career of it. Chuck laid out a vision for a bright future for ‘Blaxell Surfboards’. Tom says now that Chuck inspired him back then to have a go.

In 1968, he registered the business. Eventually Blaxell ended up with a workforce of 40 odd and making great boards and boats at the last of three factories he was to operate in Scarborough Beach Road, Osborne Park over the years. In 1987, Tom sold out to some investors from the big end of town.

In the 1968 State Schoolboys’ titles at Scarborough, I was captain of the Hale School team, which included Chuck. We both won our heats. I bombed out in the semis and Chuck went on to come fourth in the Final. Bunbury high school had some great surfers – like Lex Cornelius, Glyn Lance, Peter Roberts – and they kicked our butts to win the then coveted Schools championship.

Image: 1968 Hale School Cygnet magazine. Review of 1968 WA Schoolboys Surfboard Championship. Image courtesy of Errol Considine.

That same year Chuck, me and Jake piled in an FJ panel van owned by another school buddy Geoff Rankine-Wilson and well went south for the March long weekend State titles. The radiator kept boiling and we had to stop often. Its max. speed was about 50mph (80kmh). The suspension and tyres were dodgy. So, we couldn’t take the shorter Old Coast Road as part of it was unsealed with corrugated limestone which would have probably shaken the car body from chassis! So it was a long journey both ways on the South West Highway.

I remember the heats were held at Yallingup on the Saturday but the swell jumped on Sunday and the wind went onshore, so the Finals were moved to glassy and overcast Huzzas. There was a big crowd.

[I think it rained a little and there were people sitting under that big limestone overhang which was of course to be the scene of such a deeply-scarring tragedy decades later, when it collapsed during another competition.]

We were barracking for some of our home beach Scarborough mates – Robin ‘Skullcap’ Sutherland in the Open and Bob Monkman in the Juniors. They were both great surfers. Both were to later move down south to be part of the first generation of resident surfers on the Capes coast – Skully settled in Smiths valley at Yallingup and Bob at Quindalup and then Old Dunsborough, where they remain living today. Bob is still carving on the big stuff at Yalls – legend!

In January 1969, both Chuck and I landed jobs as cadet journalists with WA Newspapers – Chuck on “The West Australian” and me on the afternoon “Daily News”. Peter Bevan had started as a cadet Press Artist at WA Newspapers too.

Us three amigos chased waves and women together on weekends and if we weren’t working, drove down south. In those days we all wore suits or jackets and ties to work. Chuck was always the most stylishly suited. With his long blonde locks and twinkling blue eyes he never found it hard to attract the ladies.

In 1970, PB bought a good Holden panel van and had double bunks fitted in the back. Before dawn on cold Saturday morning in early May, the three of us loaded on the boards (them on Blaxell models and me with a new Laurenson) and we set off for Bells Beach and the World Surfing titles.

We drove non-stop, taking turns sleeping in the back and rotating on wheel duty. Although, I don’t think anybody slept on the long unpaved section on the Nullarbor Plain at night, as we dodged hordes of roos. And back then heaters were an ‘optional luxury extra’ in Holden cars, so it was pretty chilly too.

On the final overnight leg from Adelaide to Victoria, we encountered a mouse plague. On a section of country road in the backblocks of South Australia, there were thousands and thousands of mice scurrying across the road illuminated by the headlights. Their bodies being crunched and squished under the wheels, which was a little gut-churning for three city boys from Perth! But another unique experience of the natural phenomenon in our wide brown land.

We pulled up at Bells in the half-light of dawn Monday morning to see the world’s best surfers in the line-up putting on a show. They were all huddled in a clump. There was one lone rider on the other side of the bowl going backdoor ….as the sun came up and it got lighter, we realised that surfer was our mate Ian Cairns, who’d been included in the Australian team along with Michael Petersen as sort of junior wild card rookies. Kanga was already something special and always aggressive and ready to take on and stick it up anybody – so doing his own thing in the water regardless of reputations was nothing new.

We played pool with Michael Petersen at Torquay Hotel one night. He didn’t talk. Just sipped his beer and sort of grunted when it was our shot – we thought he was a bit strange but of course now know that he was fighting some inner demons.

Bells and Winky were pretty much off limits while the World titles were on, so we surfed Point Impossible a lot and had some great sessions. We even got about an hour session, with the tide just right, with great waves at Torquay Point!

We also visited the then pretty rudimentary Rip Curl factory and bought long-sleeved wetsuit vests from Doug ‘Claw’ Warbrick. They were the latest breakthrough in wetsuit design technology. Worn over our sleeveless long-john wetties it was a lot of rubber but welcome added upper body warmth to cope with the shock of the frigid Vic water.

One night we went to the Torquay movie theatre with the crowd cutting loose, with Jaffas being rolled down the aisles, lots of chatter and hootin’ and hollerin’, and everybody having a great time.

We didn’t stick around to see the end of the World titles. So, after about a week at Torquay we did an overnight run north up the Hume Highway, from Melbourne – including taking  a little detour into Canberra next morning to have a gander at Parliament House …it proved to be not great timing!

It was national Moratorium Day with the biggest street demonstrations ever seen in Australia, protesting against the Vietnam War and conscription ….some burly security guards nabbed us as soon as we got through the front doors and three scruffy surfers were unceremoniously booted out (literally!) and told to bugger off ….

Onwards to Sydney and we drove into Manly that afternoon with a big swell pumping and glassy conditions. Some mates from Scarborough had rented a beautiful but aged two-storey white weatherboard house right on the beach road opposite North Steyne break and had some spare beds on an enclosed veranda and let us move in for our Sydney stayover.

[Today there is a high-rise block of apartments on the site. Ironically, Chuck’s wake last January was held a short distance away at Queenscliff Surf Lifesaving Club – a big joyful-sad event with a who’s who of past and present Sydney TV and media attending]

That first afternoon in Sydney, the only spot we dared to try and get out was Manly corner. It was fun. We weren’t brave enough that first day to join the small crew at Fairy Bower, which had a fearsome reputation back then …although we did have a small-ish session out there some days later.

Next morning, we ventured up to Palm Beach corner – as the swell was still big and unrideable on the main beaches – for another fun session. PB had been across in 1968 to watch Wayne Lynch, Nat Young and crew in the Nationals with huge swell seeing some heats even held at a break inside the harbour Heads, when all the open beaches were maxxed out. So, he knew his way around to the northern beaches and did all the driving.

We also went out at North Narrabeen. We’d seen it in so many magazines and movies. The waves were good. But the locals had a well-earned reputation for protecting their home turf. They were not too friendly to three interlopers from the other side of the country trespassing on their break!

The swell settled down and served us up a week of all-day offshores and great overhead waves at North Steyne. We tumbled out of bed each morning, slipped into our wetsuits, walked across the road and stepped into great surf. Magic.

A big memory for PB was a session in the North Steyne line-up with surfing demi-god Gerry ‘Mr Pipeline’ Lopez in the water, on his way back to Hawaii from the Bells titles.

Mr Lopez was surfing on a board over a foot longer than ours, which paddled way faster. He snaked PB about six times. This was despite pumping swell, great left and right banks, and plenty of waves for everyone.

PB finally got jack of this and kept paddling onto a wave as the Hawaiian did his wave hog snake thing AGAIN …and he landed right on top of Lopez. They surfaced about a metre apart. Lopez just launched a king-hit ….PB left the water with blood streaming from his nose.

[PB was a good surfer – a goofy-footer who excelled in the big stuff down south, he was later named WA Surfer of the Year. He was not a hassler in the water and never involved in biffo, so this incident was right out of character. We all admired Lopez back then – and still do – but maybe his demi-god Zen state of mind was something less than Island mellow in the surf, back in those younger days when we were all a little more testosterone-charged?!]

We then headed north again and had a great late afternoon session at classic Angourie, with hardly anybody out. Then on to Byron and slept in the van to wake to an OK few waves at The Pass, and then a couple of really good uncrowded sessions at Broken Head.

Heading further north, we rolled in to Coolangatta on a Sunday afternoon and hit the beach at the fabled Greenmount and could see waves rolling through. But the traffic was heavy and we had to keep driving. Rounding the headland, our intention was to pull over as soon as we could, do a u-turn, and go back and surf Greenmount.

But around that bend was Kirra. And it was absolutely pumping with not many guys out. Wow!

It was one of those sessions you remember for the rest of your life. I got one of the barrels of my life. Chuck and PB were yelling their heads off and even some locals were hooting.

After some days of great waves at Snapper with OK crowds (and as I now recollect, generally a pretty friendly and hassle-free vibe in the water), we headed north again – to Noosa.

We got a week of perfect pumping Noosa points.

Back then, from memory, Noosa consisted of the surf club, a servo, pub and a couple of shops, and not much else. We camped in the panel van at Nationals carpark. The few locals didn’t seem to bother hitting the waves until about 10am. We were up at the crack of dawn. One morning, Chuck and PB surfed pumping Granites by themselves and I was alone at perfect Tea Tree, for about three hours. Those memories stick for a lifetime…

Back home in Perth to work – and both Chuck and I eventually moved on from newspapers to TV news. He joined Channel Nine and I went to Seven.

Through this period he was carving out quite a name and appearing on camera in news reports most nights. Quickly becoming the golden-haired boy – figuratively and literally!

We were all doing a lot of surfing together – day trips to The Spot (near Yanchep); up to Lancelin and paddling out to South Passage; occasionally to Avalon and Geary’s, or Long Point near Rockingham (if there was any north in the wind, in winter); Kalbarri; and of course hauling south down the then sealed Old Coast Road – hardly any traffic, no coppers or speed traps to be seen, and so we made some very fast trips to Yalls! During this period we surfed Windmills quite often and tasted new breaks like Three Bears.

Sometimes in summer, desperate for some good waves, would get up at 4:00am. Drive down to Yalls. Check out the conditions and pick a spot. Surf till we dropped. And drive home that same night – totally knackered but stoked.

PB had acquired a short wheel-base Jeep and sometimes if the summer conditions were right – i.e., hot and E/NE winds – we would just head straight to Left Handers or Big Rock, back of Cowaramup, or to Three Bears to get our wave fix.

Photo: 1970s Chuck with his Blaxell board in the keyhole at Rocky Point. Ric Chan pic.

And of course, back in Perth there was classic Trigg Point without the mega crowd dangers seen now…plus Scarborough, when it still regularly had good waves. Cottesloe and sessions at Cove and Isolated (NOT ‘Isolaters’ as it has more recently been misnamed!). And City Beach at night sometimes.

Around his time, as Chuck’s TV profile increased, surf photographer Ric Chan was featuring him in a lot of his shoots.

Chuck became a lifelong photo buff and always had a camera in his hands…I suspect that’s why he was mates with Ric Chan as he was probably get tips early on from Ric about what camera gear to buy, how to take shots etc.

Photo: 1970s Chuck with his camera at Scarborough. Ric Chan pic.

I went into TV news producing but Chuck was made to front the camera. Eventually, he went across to Sydney to take up a highly-prized gig as a reporter with the Nine Network’s “A Current Affair”. Then fronted by the legendary Mike Willesee, it was all ground breaking stuff and now part of Australian TV history.

Chuck did a lot of surfing around Sydney and up the NSW north coast.

He had become close friends too with Kanga Cairns, around the time I took off with my lady to South Africa, UK and Europe on a long working holiday, over 1974/75.

During this time, they took the ferry across to Rottnest to surf Strickland Bay and Chickens as those spots had opened up and become better known.

Chuck posted photographs to me in Durban, South Africa (where I was getting sensational waves with the likes of eventual World champ Shaun Tomson) of perfect surf at the new break, Strickos, with him and Kanga surfing it alone. [Ian last year told me they got back so late from the back of Rotto and had to run with their boards and barely made the ferry home.]

Photo: 1974 Rottnest Island.  Chuck surfing on his backhand at Strickland Bay. Charles Stewart pic.

Photo: 1974 Rottnest Island.  Kanga Cairns surfing Strickland Bay. Charles Stewart pic.

Chuck took the following photo of Kanga and wrote the caption.

Photo: 1976 Ian ‘Kanga’ Cairns surfing Margaret River main break. Chuck Stewart pic.

In 1976 Ian was the unofficial Aussie world champ and subsequently featured as the guest of honour in an episode of the hugely popular national Seven network show, “This is Your Life”. Hosted by Roger Climpson, each week it featured a famous Aussie who was lured to the TV studios on some false pretence and then shoved in front of the cameras and a live audience for the half-hour show. Family, friends and other people from the celebrity guest’s life came on and told stories about them and showed clips.

Chuck was one of those giving testimonials and anecdotes about Kanga, as well as brilliant WA surfer Barry Day (also a hugely-talented WAFL Premiership player, before crossing to Melbourne to play in the VFL for Essendon).

Photo: 1979 Kanga on This is Your Life TV show (7 Network).

L-R Ian Cairns, Chuck, Barry Day and show host Roger Climpson.

In the early 1980s, with the birth of national breakfast TV, Chuck moved from ACA to Nine’s “Today” show and became the ‘motoring correspondent’. This allowed him to indulge his love of fast exotic cars. And get to flog them around test tracks and get paid for it – heaven on a stick!

Photo: 1980s Nine Network publicity shot of Chuck – when he was the Motoring Reporter on the (then new) Today show. Photo courtesy of Nine Network & Errol Considine.

Peter Bevan reckon the board Chuck is holding in the following photo was an Ian Cairns ‘Bonza’. Tom Blaxell reckons it was an early thruster and dates some time from 1982 and before 1990, when fin boxes were invented.

Photo: 1980s Chuck with an Ian Cairns ‘Bonza’ surfboard at Scarborough. Photo courtesy of Errol Considine.

Later in the 1980s, Chuck moved to Nine Network’s “Wide World of Sports” and “Sports Sunday”, which were in their heydays. His WWOS Producer was another ex-Scarborough surfer, Steve Matthews (who had also competed against us in the ’68 State Schoolboys’ titles, riding for one of the Leederville Catholic boys’ schools, CBC I think).

Photo: 1966 Steve Mathews Boomerang Board Club Scarborough. Photographer unknown.

Apart from motor sports, and especially Grand Prix, Chuck covered anything that involved water for WWOS.

At the wake, Guy Leech said that Chuck’s passionate and graphic reporting on WWOS played a critical role in pushing triathlons and the Ironman event to becoming headlining, mainstream sports in Australia.

Chuck was the first to bring the Hawaiian Ironman to Australian TV screens, taking the camera into the heart of the action, up close and personal long before Go Pro.

His WWOS reporting work took him to the USA, Canada, England, Europe, Asia and the Pacific and included covering two Winter Olympics as part of Channel Nine’s Australian host broadcaster team.

When satellite TV and other technology and TV audience changes spelled the end of the WWOS regular weekend programs, Chuck set up his own production company. He made many corporate videos and DVDs on sports and famous sportsmen. He loved working with all sports, except for some in rugby league who he reckoned were blockheads and hard to deal with!

Click to view Charles Stewart Media Profile.

In 2011, he was on the broadcast production crew doing interviews for Fox Sports for the Drug Aware Margaret River Pro.

I think that was probably the last year (or second last year) the DAMRP was a Prime rated event, before getting full ASP CT tour event ranking – cos it was the last time I hosted the media conference and we had a good contingent turn up, including TV, because we had Kelly Slater – I remember me asking a series of questions to the surfers (probably with Joel Parkinson and Taj B on the front desk with Kelly)….anyway, I threw the floor open to the journos after my opening salvo …and the reporters all sat there like stunned mullets (mute and in awe of Kelly, I think) ….so Chuck quickly worked out what was happening and jumped in from the back of the room and fired off 3 or 4 good questions, which saved our bacon!

…would have been bloody embarrassing for Surfing WA and me, if it had all just petered out …at that stage I couldn’t very well jump back in with more ?s!

After that the ASP > WSL took over responsibility for pretty much all the media stuff – and I was put out to pasture!

Photo: 2011 surf journo Wayne Murphy, Chuck & Ian ‘Kanga’ Cairns. Loz Smith pic.

Chuck later took a year off to research and write a book about the true story of his father who passed away when Chuck was very young and he never knew. “The Rich Man” revealed a charming gentleman swindler who became the focus of an international manhunt and worldwide headlines. Amazing…

Click on this link to listen to audio of Chuck’s “The Rich Man’ book interview with Phillip Adams on ABC in 2010.

At Chuck’s wake, fellow Perth surfer and journo Brad Schmitt gave a eulogy (more like a celebrity roast) about their days working at TCN 9 and chasing parties and girls around Sydney, and hunting waves up the northern beaches and north NSW coast. They both also became accomplished skiers and surfing gave way in winter to weekends driving up to Perisher Valley in the Snowy Mountains. Later, they took skiing trips to New Zealand then the USA and places like Colorado and Utah, and tackling challenging ‘black diamond’ powder snow slopes:

Schmitty in his address to the wake crowd:Returning from a northern beaches party one late rainy night, Chuck –who always fancied himself as a rally driver – fanged the gold BMW …and went to do a left turn. “Hmm…bit fast”, I thought. And sure enough we continued to turn left and around and around, aquaplaning 360 degrees into the old timber bus stop. The bus stop exploded into a thousand pieces. We looked at each other – what the f+*# just happened?! Fortunately, the streets were empty. Both of us escaped unscathed and quietly we pushed the old Beamer down the road and left it parked in a side street. Chuck returned to retrieve his car a few days later and no one was the wiser.”

You Tube clips of his TV career, including the Olympics, were on the show reel which Chuck’s son Matt (now a highly respected and sought after cinematographer for big budget advertising and some TV shows) put together for screening at the wake last year.

Click to view Charles Stewart Memorial Wake video

While Chuck rarely surfed in his later years, he was often on the water doing hard-core surf ski paddling sessions…including from Sydney’s inner harbour, out into deep water and the open sea, around the heads, past Fairy Bower, and back into Manly. Hitting the snow slopes remained a passion.

He was 64 when he passed away January 2016.

Errol Considine.

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1976 Ian ‘Kanga’ Cairns & Tony Hardy surfing North Point – Ric Chan images

Surf photographer Ric Chan captured these images of WA’s finest surfers of the 70s Ian ‘Kanga’ Cairns and Tony Hardy charging solid waves at North Point in 1976.

Both Kanga & Tony won WA State Surfing Titles and were finalists at the National level.

Ian went to Hawaii and in December 1973 and won the Smirnoff Pro event at Sunset Beach from Hawaiian Jeff Hakman. He won other big events in the Duke Kahanamoku Invitational Surfing Championship in 1975 and World Cup events in 1976 and 1980. Source: Wikipedia.

Photo: 1976 Ian Cairns #1

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Photo: 1976 Ian Cairns #2

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Photo: 1976 Ian Cairns #3

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Photo: 1976 Ian Cairns #4

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Photo: 1976 Ian Cairns #5

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Photo: 1976 Ian Cairns #6

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Photo: 1976 Tony Hardy #1

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Photo: 1976 Tony Hardy #2

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Photo: 1976 Tony Hardy #3

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Photo: 1976 Tony Hardy #4

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Photo: 1976 Tony Hardy #5

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Photo: 1976 Tony Hardy #6

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1960s WA Board Clubs – Part #1 History

There was a strong Board Club culture in WA in the 60s. You had to be a member of a Board Club and be affiliated with the West Australian Surf Rider Association (WASRA formed 1964) to compete in State Surf Riding Championships.

1960s Board Clubs (This list may be incomplete).

Boomerang
Casuarina (Bunbury)
City Beach
Cottesloe
Dolphins
Indiana (Bunbury)
Kontiki
Miami Surfinks
Mid Way
Moana
North Coast
North End
Sand n Sea
Scarborough
Southern Surfriders
Southside
Surfari
Surfers Inc.
Surfers United (Albany)
Tangaroa
Tarni
Warrain
West Coast
West Girls
Yallingup

Editor’s note: From 1953-57 Ray Geary and his surfing mates were members of the City Beach Board Club. It may be WA’s first board club and was the fore runner to the City Beach Surf Riders Club formed in 1961.

Images: 1976 Arty Sherburn’s WASRA membership card. Images courtesy of Arty Sherburn.

1970s WASRA membership card Arty Sherburn collage_photocat

Regular intra & inter club competitions provided the platform for surfers to compete and gain contest experience and rise to National & International levels, if talented enough. WA’s Ian Cairns was invited to compete in the 1970 World Surfing Titles held at Bells & Johanna beaches in Vic.

Rivalry between the Clubs was fierce in surfing competitions and social footy matches.

Successful clubs held fund raising social functions and were sponsored by local surfboard manufacturers and business organisations. They provided members with Club outfits (parkas, board shorts, t-shirts) and membership cards.

Warrain Board Club in conjunctions with media sponsors held an annual Paddle Through Perth board paddling race.

Images: 1965-69 Paddle through Perth images. Images courtesy of Len Dibben & surf journo Doug White & The Sunday Times.

Top: (Left) 1965 Paddle race contestants leaving Barrack St jetty. (Right) 1969 Doug White’s Wavelets report on ’69 paddle race.

Bottom: (Left) 1968 Paddle race contestants passing under Narrows Bridge & heading to Crawley Bay. (Right) 1968 Surfboard Manufacturer Len Dibben presenting 3rd place award to Kim ‘Dish’ Standish with Don McDonald in background.

1965-69 Paddle Through Perth images 3 collage_photocat

Most of the clubs were located in the metro area, however there were country clubs at Albany, Bunbury & Yallingup.

Some metro board clubs had the foresight to acquire Club shacks in the SW. West Coast,

Yallingup & Dolphins board clubs had club shacks at Caves House Yallingup.

Photo: 1962 West Coast Board Club shack with Laurie Burke’s FB Holden & the Ghost’s Holden panel van out front. Photo courtesy of Brian Cole.

1962 Yalls WCBC shack L Burke's FB Holden & Ghost's Holden panel van - Brian Cole pic img268

Photos: 1964 Board club shacks at Yallingup. Photos courtesy of Ernie Potter.

(Left) Dolphins shack. (Right) Yallingup & West Coast club shacks.

1964 Club shacks at Yalls Ernie Potter pics collage_photocat

North End, Southern Surf Riders & Southside board clubs had club shacks at Prevelly Park Margaret River.

Photos: Margaret River board shacks. Photos courtesy of Bill Mitchell & Murray Smith

(Left) 1964 Southside shack foundations. (Right) 1967 North End shack.

1960s Club shacks Margaret River 1 collage_photocat

Within the Club environment there were also Surf Teams sponsored by Surfboard Manufacturers. While sponsored Surf Teams were recognised, the individuals still competed for their Club in State Rounds.

Photo: 1965 Len Dibben Surf Team at Leighton Beach. Photo courtesy of Len Dibben.

L-R Rod Slater, Dave Richards, Jeff Jowlett, Steve Farbus, Teena Christon, Peter Stephens, Art Sherburn & Doug White.

1965 Len Dibben surf team Leighton Beach L-R Rod Slater,Dave Richards,Jeff Jowlett,Steve Farbus,Teena Christon,Peter Stephens,Art Sherburn,Doug White-Len Dibben pic 01

CLUB HISTORY (in alphabetical order)

City Beach Board Club 1953-57.

In 1953 Ray Geary (age 16) from Wembley started the City Beach Board Club with Graham Killen, Johnny Budge, Brian Cole and some keen surfing mates. Ray and the boys were former members of City Beach Surf Club. The owner of City Beach Tea Rooms gave the Club approval to dig out sand below the Tea Rooms and make an enclosure for Club meetings & surf board storage.  The Club had no President or Treasurer and did not hold surf competitions. Club members just surfed and had fun. Club members paid one-pound per year to cover costs of padlocks & chains etc on the enclosure. Ray was a sign writer and printed City Beach Board Club logos on t-shirts & trench coats for members.

The club folded in 1957 when club members started travelling to SW & NW waves.

Photos: 1954 Beach display article and Ray Geary, John Budge & other CBBC boys at City Beach. Images courtesy of Mandurah News, Ray Geary & John Budge.

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City Beach Surf Riders Club Inc. since 1961

City Beach Surf Riders Club Inc.(CBSR) was formed in 1961 by Peter Docherty & Viv Kitson (18 year old students ex Floreat). CBSR’s Barry King (Juniors) and Zac Kochanowitsch (Mens were WA’s first State Champions in ’64. In the late 60s Whisky-a-Go Go nightclub sponsored CBSR. The club is still operating today.

Images: CBSR memorabilia courtesy of Ron Moss & King family.

(Left) 2000 CBSR life membership Ron Moss.

(Middle) 1967-68 Bruce King with club memorabilia & FJ Holden sponsored by Whisky-a-Go Go night club.

(Right) Mid 1960s CBSR membership card & Competition Team sew-on badge & 1967-68 CBSR Club Calendar.

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Cottesloe Board Club

Dalkeith surfer Peter Dyson was a junior member of the Cottesloe Board club in the early 60s before he defected to the Yallingup Board Club in 1966.

Peter de Bruin – In 1969-70 Cottesloe board club was re-formed by a breakaway group who were former members of Tarni Board club. The first meetings were held at the Quakenbush household (Earl and Guy). I was the first president of the newly formed club.

Dolphins Surf Riders Club

Photos: 1960s Dolphins Surf Riders Club emblem & signed t-shirt. Photos courtesy of Jim McFarlane.

1960s Dolphins memorabilia collage_photocat

Surfari Board Club 1963-66

Surfaris were set up as a purely social like-minded group of Cottesloe surfers in 1963 before folding and dissipating into separate ways in 1966.

Surfari members included Noel Sweeny, John Ventouras, Bill Oddy, John Balgarnie, Ray O’Neil, Trevor Baskerville, Russ Chapman, Trevor Orr, Graeme Copley, Barry Cain, John Pozzi & Michael Bibby.

Noel SweenyIt was great times for us all. John Ventouras, Trevor Baskerville, Russell Chapman, Bill Oddy & I still get together once or twice a year over coffees and loads of bullshit at Lido in Cottesloe.

Miami Surf Board Club

Photos: 1965 State & Club Womens Champ Teena Christon with her trophies and Tom Collin’s 2nd Club Mens Champs trophy.

1965 Miami Board Club Teena's & Tom's trophies collage_photocat

Mid-Way Board Club

Photos: 1964-65 Mid Way Board Club’s Arty Sherburn with his Dibben & Cole surfboard & home-made Mid Way Board Club wettie. Photos courtesy of Arty Sherburn.

1964-65 Arty Sherburn & Mid Way wettie collage_photocat

North Coast Surf Riders Club

North Coast Surf Riders Club was formed by ex Scarborough surfers Robin Sutherland, Greg Laurenson and Mike Wynne in 1969.

Errol Considine – My brother Jeff was the first President of the Club… and he designed the first club logo & cut the silk screen at home for the t-shirts – which were chocolate brown with an orange logo….both very cool colours then. I think Jeff & Gooselegs came up with the ‘69’ thing – naughty boyz!

I remember one North Coast Club comp on a Sunday at Halls Head with perfect 1-2 foot long left handers….it was a big swell and Southerly wind…and bloody freezing – that was before they built the groynes at the nearby mouth of the Mandurah estuary….have never seen waves at Halls Head again!!– Place getters Mike Wynne 1st and Bob Monkman 2nd.

Russell Quinliven, from Scarborough was a Junior member….I remember the boys got Russell (who was about 12 or 13, or maybe 14) really drunk at a club Sunday arvo keg….we took him home to Scarborough in Jeff’s Mini and kicked him out near Luna Park and I vividly remember him.

Photos: 2015 the late Russell Quinlivan modelling the North Coast ‘69’ t-shirt. Photos courtesy of Peta Quinlivan.

2015 North Coast Surfers 69er T-Shirt IMG_001

Tarni Board Club

Tarni and City Beach board clubs held regular inter-club surfing comps and an annual footy match at Yanchep Oval.

Images: Howard Smith images courtesy of Sunday Times surf journo Doug White and Howard Smith.

(Left) 1969 Howard Smith elected President of Tarni Board Club. (Right) 2011 former Tarni President Howard Smith holidaying in Maldives with Ken Howie on the right.

1969-2011 Howard Smith Tarni & City Beach collage_photocat

West Girls Board Club

In 1963 Cottesloe surfers Tina Daly, Jeanne Abbott & Stefanie Meyers were members of the West Girls Board Club. This was WA’s first all girl’s board club.

Images: 1960s West Girls Board Club members. Left: Stefanie Meyers, Right: (Top) Jeanne Abbott (Bottom) West Girls & others at 1964 (first) State Titles held at Yalls. Images courtesy of Jeanne Abbott & WA Newspapers.

1960s-west-girls-board-club-picmonkey-collage

Yallingup Board Club

Yallingup Board Club (YBC) was formed in the early 60’s by a group of mainly Cottesloe based surfers. Colin Cordingley was President of YBC and an inaugural member. Cordingley Surfboards sponsored Yallingup Board Club.

Photos: YBC courtesy of A Orloff Studios Fremantle, Tina Wilson, Colin Morris & Peter Bothwell.

Top: 1964 undefeated YBC Club photo & club parka.
Bottom: 1960s Colin Morris’s YBC membership card & 1966 front door step YBC shack at Yalls on demolition day.

1960s YBC memorabilia collage_photocat

Interest in Board Clubs started to wane during the 70s with surfers moving down south and to other region’s seeking solitude in the waves.

Coming soon 1960s WA Board Clubs Part #2 Photo Galleries

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1960s Southern Surf Riders shack story by Dave Simmons

In the 1960-70s Dave Simmons was a talented Cottesloe surfer and a member of the Southern Surf Riders Club.

Dave’s comments & story follows:-

Hi to Sue-Lyn, Pete Bothwell, Barry Day, Barry Young, Artie Sherbs & Boz. I was kindly invited to the last Southern Surf Riders Reunion, but you know me, I kind put my foot in it – typical of me. Tell Artie I ended up getting very disillusioned with the surf scene as it is this days and not long after that reunion I gave it away – never thought I would! That’s up until now. I really must, for my health’s sake get right back into it. Just made myself a 5’10 Ted Spencer ‘spoon’ just like the old days. All this shark business frightens the hell out of me. I’ll have to save up for a Katana Surf Safe shark deterrent.

Photo: 1978 Margaret River Rowing Regatta. Dave Simmons is on the right in printed shirt. Ric Chan pic.

1978 Marg River Regatta Dave Simmons cropped1 - Ric Chan 065

My old buddie Giles Gieger I miss. Giles quite often came around to where Mum, me and Liz were living in Walter St. Claremont for a ride down to the Isolated in my old FJ. I was always practicing Classical Guitar out on the back lawn and Giles would turn up for a cuppa and a chat before we headed off.

I heard a story he’s married a Balinese orchestral violinist or something and that he was an Opal Merchant or something.

Photo: 1970 State Titles at Yallingup L-R unknown, Skullcap, Giles, Rod Slater & Steve ‘Sheepdog’ Cockburn. Ric Chan pic.

1970 Yalls State Titles Skullcap, Giles, Slater & Sheepdog - R Chan img400

Here’s a story you might like……..

Southern Surf Riders shack

The old Southern Surf Riders Club had a shack at Prevelly in the late 60s. I was staying there with Giles Gieger, Ian ‘Cairnsy’ Cairns, Arty Sherburn and the crew.

Photo: 1966 Southern Surfriders at Halls Head Mandurah. Back: I Cairns, J Collis, P Stephens, D Ellis, J Rousell. Front: G Smith, M Jones, A Cook, J Jones, A Sherburn, E Warner, J Law, M Layzell – Mick Layzell pic

My beautiful picture

Cairnsy and a few of us got a really bad case of Gastro. I think all he was eating was Corn Flakes with no milk for weeks. We all ran out of the cash that our Mum’s gave us. Cairnsy ended up in the Margaret River Hospital, if my memory serves me correctly.

Photo: 1968 Cottesloe Beach L-R John ‘Jacko’ Jackovich, Ian Cairns & Arty Sherburn. Rod Taylor pic.

1968 Cottesloe Beach Jacko Surf Team. Jacko, Ian Cairns & Arty Sherburn - Rod Taylor pic.IMG_001

Anyway one morning, we were laying there moaning out loud like sick dogs. A newly in love couple intending to get married, they must have been friends one of the members or something, decided to make themselves a lover’s breakfast in the midst of the typically disorganised messy squaller inside the shack. Back then, that was par for the course if you were down there to SURF. And to surf … WE WERE.  As the couple began preparing their breakfast, I think it might have been Giles let forth with a huge groan bellowing his detest for the lousy way he felt that morning, as did all of us.

“Arrgggghhhh  F_ _ k !”  Giles groaned.

The young lady turned to Giles and growled very angrily.  “I BEG YOUR PARDON!!!”

Cairnsy replied. “You heard ‘im…., he said   F_ _k.”

Everybody cracked up. Even though about the only laughs we guys were having right about then – were at the ground.

Dave Simmonds.

PS There is another Dave & Giles surf trip story in the pipeline

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1974 State Surfing Titles held at Guillotine Surf Break

In the early 1960s members of the West Coast Board Club used a rough old fisherman’s track to access the Gallows. The WC boys dobbed in 10 shillings each and paid 20 pound to local bulldozer driver ‘Boodge’ Guthrie to upgrade the track. They later got Boodge to extend the track to Guillotine and they started surfing there too.

For more history on the West Coast Board Club and the discovery of Guillotine refer to Surfing Down Surf book.

A round of the State Surfing Titles was held at the Guillotine surf break in 1974. Photo-Journalist Ric Chan covered the event for the Independent Newspaper and took these images. However, Ric cant remember being there, so we can’t ask him for the results!

Did Baz Day or Kanga Cairns win the blue ribbon Open Div?

Photo: 1974 WASRA President Doc Naylor & competitors meeting at Gracetown turn-off on Caves Rd. Ric Chan pic.

1974 Guillotine State Titles Cowaramup Rd img098

Photo: 1974 Guillotine line-up. Ric Chan pic.

1974 Guillotine State Titles Guillotine img094

Photos: 1974 State Title officials. Ric Chan pics.

Top: (Left) Doc Naylor. (Right) Len Dibben. Bottom: Len Dibben with judges and assistants.

1974 State Titles Guillotine officials collage_photocat

Photo: 1974 unidentified surfing in State Titles. Ric Chan pic.

1974 Guillotine State Ttiles unknown - Ric Chan

Photo: 1974 Barry Day surfing in State Titles. Ric Chan pic.

1974 Guillotine State Titles Barry Day img 097 (3)

Photo: 1974 Ian Cairns surfing in State Titles. Ric Chan pic.

1974 Guillotine State Titles Ian Cairns - Ric Chan 018

Photo: 1974 Chris Fullston surfing in State Titles. Ric Chan pic.

1974 Guillotine State Titles Chris Fullston img097 (4)

Photo: 1974 Russell Catto surfing in State Titles. Ric Chan pic.

1974 Guillotine State Titles Russell Catto img086

Photo: 1974 Trevor ‘Kenmac’ Kenyon surfing in State Titles. Ric Chan pic.

1974 Guillotine State Titles img097 (2)

Photos: 1974 competitors & spectators at State Titles. Ric Chan pics.

1974 State Titles Guillotine spectators 2 collage_photocat

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