Gallery

1960s Fun Times at Mandurah by the King Bros.

In the mid 60s metro surfers used to make day trips from the city to Mandurah chasing waves and fun times.

On the way there were beach break waves at Long Point, Surf Beach, Golden Bay and Singleton in offshore conditions. In Mandurah there were fun waves on sand bars at Halls head & Stewart Street on a SW breeze. Further on there were good waves at Bitumen’s, Miami Bay, Geary’s, Avalon, Melros and Tim’s Thicket.

After a wave, visiting surfers indulged in the local social life. Social activities centred around parties with local girls, Sunday sessions and during the annual Kanyana Carnival there were paddle board races & skurfing displays.

In the 60s Jim & Bruce King of Subiaco were members of the City Beach Surf Riders club.

These are the King Bros recollections of fun times at Mandurah in the 60s with their City Beach surfing mates….

Bruce King – On a surf trip to Mandurah, Phil Henderson and I took a 5 gallon keg of beer in the back of a mate’s Mini-Minor as refreshment for the trip. And we charged our mate for the pleasure of our company on the trip!

Another time Phil and I purchased a 5 gallon keg of beer in Mandurah and got our mate to drive us to a Nightclub in the city & return.

We treated our driver poorly and were dickheads back then!

Photos: 1960s hanging at the beach in Mandurah. Photos courtesy of Trevor Burslem & King Bros.

Top: (Left) Rob Halliday & Sheepdog’s autos (Right) Browneyes, Rob Halliday & Dribbles.

Bottom: (Left) Midge Semple being mischievous (Right) Norm Kitson eating a can of sardines.

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Bruce KingOn one occasion, my brother Jim and I had a beer with Gerry Humphries and the Loved Ones Band in the front bar of the Old Brighton pub. Later Sheepdog and I (and a horde of others) broke through the fence and into their concert at Mandurah Oval.

Unfortunately, we didn’t get to enjoy the concert as the Constabulary were after us and we had to make a quick get-away in Dennis Baker’s Mini Minor.

Photo: 1960s Main drag in Mandurah with Old Brighton pub in the centre. Photo courtesy of Lost Perth.

Note drinkers sitting on roof of the pub and the stack of Malibu’s on the roof of surf wagon parked in the street.

Photos: 1960s an assortment of surfer’s automobiles made the surfari to Mandurah. Photos courtesy Peter Bothwell, Trevor Burslem, Bull Moss & Ross Utting.

Top: (Left) Rod Bothwell’s broken Prefect (Right) Rob Halliday’s Fiat & Malibu’s.

Bottom: (Left) Norm Kitson & Glen Carroll with Bull Moss’s Morrie Minor. (Right) Ross Utting and Craig Henfry with Ross’s Dad’s EK Holden station wagon.

Jim King – In 1967 the City Beach boys put on a skurfing display at Mandurah’s Kanyana Carnival. We had never done it before, but the organiser’s didn’t know that when they programmed the event! We were towed up & down the river between the traffic bridge and the Peninsular Hotel behind a speedboat on our surf boards. We nearly killed ourselves, but put on a fun show for the crowd. We also competed successfully in the carnival’s Paddle Board Races on the river.

Photos: 1967 Mandurah’s Kanyana Carnival Paddle Board Races. Photos courtesy King Bros.

Top: Paddle Race winners Bruce King & Dave Ellis.

Bottom: Bruce’s Paddle Race Certificate and King Bros Paddle Race prizes.

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Jim KingWhen the wind was onshore in the city and there was a good swell running, we used to drive down to Mandurah and surf fun Malibu waves at Stewart St and Halls Head. Unfortunately these sand bars disappeared when man made developments occurred at the river mouth.

Images: 1966 surfing fun waves at Stewart St Mandurah in a SW breeze. Images ex CBSR Super 8 movie film.

Top: (Left) Jim King & Rob Halliday tandem (Right) Ron Moss head stand.

Bottom: Browneyes walking the board.

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Photos: 1960s social times at Mandurah. Photos Courtesy of Glen Carroll, Trevor Burslem, Robyn McDonald & Ron Moss.

Top: (Left) Glen Carrol with flower power board (Right) five wise men L-R Jim King, Rob Farris, Norm Bateman, Steve Cockburn & Bruce King.

Bottom: (Left) Robyn Mac & friends (Right) Mick & Ron Moss socialising.

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Jim King – In the 60s you were allowed to drive your car on the beach at Long Point & Surf Beach. We parked near the best waves, bogged our cars on high tide and had great fun towel surfing on the water’s edge behind Kevin ‘Dirty Odes’ O’Dwyer’s work ute.

Images: 1960s autos & people at Surf Beach. Images ex CBSR Super 8 movie film.

Top: (Left) Rob Halliday’s Fiat & Jim King’s Anglia parked on the beach. (Right) Robert ‘Digger’ Dolphin being dacked by Phil Henderson.

Middle: (Left) Phil Henderson towel surfing on his mum’s best beach towel behind Dirty Ode’s work ute (Right) Peter ‘Dyso’ Dyson & Greg (Pant’s) Laurenson leaving the waves.

Bottom: Dirty Ode’s work ute loaded to the gunnels with surfboards.

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Bruce King – When the waves were flat or wind was howling onshore, we would play on a rope swing on the Murray River near Pinjarra while waiting for the afternoon session to start at the Ravenswood pub.

Photos: 1968 River swing on Murray River near Pinjarra. Photos courtesy of King Bros.

Top: (Left) Norm Kitson on rope swing (Right) Phil Henderson dropping in on Bruce King.

Bottom: Bottoms up.

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We were young and they were fun times!

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Gallery

Three Bears surf break & track in the 80s

In August 1971 surfers George Simpson, Mick Pearce & Mark Rudenberg discovered Three Bears surf break at Kabbijgup Beach. The boys had seen waves breaking along the cliffs north of Yallingup and walked in from Sugarloaf Rock to find the surf break.

Click on this link to view Three Bears surf break & track in the 70s.

This a collection of anecdotes & photos from ’80s Bears user’s………

Gary GibbonMy abiding memories are frequently concerned with scrambling up to Bears in vehicles, not always my own, that really weren’t designed to do the job. The track, especially in summer, could be ruthless on them; tyres, suspension, steering, etc. Four wheel drives weren’t as common in those days, so I was usually looking to bum lifts with people like Harbo, Ralph Redman and Geoff Culmsee, all of whom had reliable vehicles that would do the job. Poor souls such as me, frequently made do with the common man’s 4WD … clapped out VW’s, which, it should be added, were pretty reliable getting through if they had the right tyres. Just as an aside, I remember a day with Kim Hunter, Micko Gracie, Kirk (Boonga) Ball and one or two others, when we had to change a flat on a VW bug, up towards the bombie with no jack, nor wheel brace. We only had a spare and a knife! Somehow managed it, which partially involved everyone lifting the VW up and swinging it around, so that it balanced airborne on the track edges, temporarily blocking the track.

Can’t help chuckling when I remember that sign that Tony had for years outside Hideaway Holiday Homes – “$10.00 for tow-outs!” Luckily I never had to request his services, but I bet quite a few did over the years.

But the occasional price you paid with your vehicles was worth it, considering, the value you received back in some unreal, relatively uncrowded, sessions in those days with just your mates for company.

I generally surfed Baby Bear the most, but especially liked Papas in clean, small conditions. My favourite spot though was Outside Mamas in summer low tides with big S, SW swells where it began to break on the outside ledge, creating a much longer ride.

I always loved surfing with Ralph at Bears and consider him the best I saw at Babies back in the 70’s/80’s. He really tube rode there very consistently.

I didn’t surf Mamas so much (except as noted above, which I think of as a separate break), but watching over there from Baby’s and chilling on the dunes in between sessions, I was always impressed with Lindsey Whittle who pretty much surfed there exclusively from the late 70’s into the early 80’s.

From the time I first surfed it in 1975 with Andy Jones, Steve Carroll and Mark Favell, I always loved the place. How could you not, especially when you’d come back to Yallingup surfed out and seeing it crowded and inconsistently small? Flashing back on the fact that Three Bears had only been discovered 4 years earlier, was also a buzz.

Photo: 1980 Gary Gibbon surfing Baby Bears. Gary Gibbon pic

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Justin RedmanI remember spending all day on Bears beach in the mid 80s while dad (Ralph) was surfing. Nancy Burrow used to look after my sister Melanie & I (and any other pre-school age kids on the beach). Taj & I used to surf back wash on the inside reef (lagoon) at Bears.

Photo: 1980 Ralph Redman surfing Baby Bears. Gary Gibbon pic

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Photos: 1980 Yalls (Left) Ralph Redman, Rubberman & Tim with Ralph’s VW buggy. (Right) Ralph with VW buggy and boards. Gary Gibbon pics

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Loz Smith – In the 80s Peter Mac & I would drive to Bears from Yalls in his little yellow VW Beetle. His VW had razor blade tyres & a piece of driftwood wedged across back bumper. I used the driftwood as a platform to stand-on and bump us through boggy bits of the track.

Tony Harbison’s son Glen used to park at the top of the track’s boggy section (behind Shallows) and tow out bogged cars for $5.

On a good day we used to surf Bears three times a day. We would go early & surf in strong NE conditions with blind take-offs, then return to Yalls for lunch. After lunch the offshore wind dropped and we would go back to Bears for an arvo session & return to Yalls for a rest. If conditions were still good late in the day, we would go back again for the Sunset session. Geoff Culmsee & Ralph Redman were always there.

Photo: 1980s Yalls early Yal Mal contest. L-R Tim Eastwood, Peter Mac & Loz Smith. Peter Mac pic

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Jim KingIn the early 80s, Fred Harris & I used to get a lift to Bears with Brian Felton and his team of veteran wave ski riders – Ron Fussell, Laurie Roach, boogie boarder Al Rich and hand boarder Harry Kimber. Every weekend & holiday Brian would pack us in his old reconditioned Landrover van and we would head off from Yalls on the bumpy coastal dirt track to Bears. Much fun was had being tossed around the back of the old Landrover (with unpadded seats & no suspension) on those slow trips to Bears & return. Brian’s son Peter continued to use the Landrover on the Bears run for years after his dad passed away.

I celebrated my 40th birthday at Bears by catching 40 waves in one gluttonous session at Baby’s. Afterwards I spent a pleasant afternoon with mates in the beer garden at Caves Pub Yalls. My brother and mates tried to do the same on their 40th but conditions or their bodies didn’t allow them to do it. Ha!

Photos: Bears. (Left) 1982 Vance Burrow cuttie at Mammas. Minolta Water Camera shot by Brian Bell. (Right) 1983 Jim King surfing Baby’s on a Blaxell Surfboard. Photos courtesy of Jim King.

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Jim McFarlane – I used to surf Three Bears a lot over summer in the nude. Not only did I feel free, but not many other surfers wanted to drop in on me.

Photo: 1983 Jim McFarlane surfing Baby Bears in a wettie. Photo courtesy of Jim McFarlane

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Mark ‘Hillsy’ HillsMy earliest memory was dad and  Terry ‘Rat’ James taking the brand new HG Holden sedan up the back track when I was about 10 (1976) and snapping the aerial off and scratching the car up much to mum’s disgust. I think this is where my lack of respect for cars going up the Bears track must have come from.

On another occasion my mum warned me beforehand not to come home if I damaged dad’s car and, lo and behold, I had a head-on prang on one of those mounds on the track. I jumped out of the car and started abusing the other guys, then quickly realised it was full of big Maori guys….so I backed off & politely asked them for a tow back to Yalls.

Very few people had 4 wheel drives, so you did what you’re not supposed too, drive your two wheel drive up the track.

Photos: 1988 Mark Hills surfing Mama Bears on an Al Bean surfboard. Twiggy Sharland pic.

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Mark “Hillsy’ Hills – When I turned 18 my mum and dad bought me my first car, a green 1968 two door Toyota Corolla station wagon in mint condition. After three months, I rolled the car completely and finished up against a lamp post full of piss after a night at the Nookenburra pub in Innaloo. My punishment other than my license being suspended, was to find and fix a secondhand car body, fit a motor and repaint the Corolla station wagon, before I was allowed to drive again.

Nine months later, painted canary yellow, the ultimate Bears mobile ‘Fang’ was born. I had put Pirelli P4’s on Fang which gave her more height and less chance of losing an exhaust on the way up to Bears. With mates in hand and one or two cement bags in the back and a little less tyre pressure, Fang could go where others perished. The first part of the track was always the hardest, with Fang screaming in first gear through the gravel mounds and ditches with enough speed and lack of respect through the sandy bits. If we got stuck we would simply lift her out or shunt her along to get on the right path. Fang was so light that when we came into the S bends before the small fence opening, the boys in the back would move to one side trying to slide us into the fence or off the track…..this was unsettling!

Each time going up the track it would smash the steering around so much that dad made me a stick to line up in the middle of the front tyres, exactly for the right manual alignment after each trip. One time after a horror trip up to Bears the windscreen wiper motor just fell out and landed on my foot. After this it was hard driving back to Perth when it was raining and dark. She was a great old car, not the fastest, but she could do the track in about eight and half minutes. I think Dave Sheen had the record at seven and half minutes in his EH black and white Holden and I reckon Gordon Vernon in his HK was pretty fast too. Super fun times. Oh yeah, the surf was good too! 

Photo: 1990 Mark Hills cover-up at Mamma Bears. Twiggy Sharland pic.

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Floyd Irvine – In the 80s Andrew ‘MO’ Mills & I destroyed so many Kingswood’s on the Bears track. We used the front track from Yalls & that first hill behind Shallows was so sandy & had so many large steps.

On one trip in MO’s Datsun 1200 we were waiting in a queue to get back up the hill. A Ford F100 & Hilux got out, but chewed up the track. Then after many tries a Subaru got out but was smashed up in the process. Then Mo & I set off in his little Datsun 1200. Mo was such a legend driver, he just keep the wheels on the track without spinning out and we smoothly drove out of there and waved to the others waiting their turn.

Mo’s Datsun 1200 had narrow tyres like razor blades. After a 3 hour surf at Bears we were tired & hungry and in a hurry to get to the bakery, so we tried the seldom used Sugarloaf track. On top of the hill with a right hand turn, the car slid side-ways off the track & we were hideously bogged. After 3 hours jacking & pushing, we finally got back the car back on the track. We were already exhausted & starving before we got started again….what a nightmare!

Photos: 1990 Floyd & Mo at Bears. Floyd Irvine pics.

Left: Andrew ‘Mo’ Mills on Bears Beach. Right: Floyd surfing with flair in yellow wettie.

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In the 1990s The Dunsborough pub named its front bar after the Three Bears surf break.

Mike BibbyWhen my colleagues & I purchased the Dunsborough Hotel from Shad Nixon in 1998, the main bar was the Three Bears Bar. There was a lot of memorabilia on the walls, photos, plaques with stories as to why it was named by George Simpson & Co (as told in SDS book), boards (all new) etc.

When we renovated the bar, all of the memorabilia (boards included) were souvenired (stolen) by the staff.  Nothing was left.

Photos: 1998 Three Bears Bar memorabilia. Mike Bibby & Bruce King pics.

Left: Three Bears Bar T-Shirts logo. Right: Three Bears Bar surfboard logo.

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Track Closure

CALM closed the coastal Bears track from Yallingup circa 1992, it is now part of Cape to Cape walk. Surfers now use other 4wd routes to access Bears.

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Gallery

1969 Billeting arrangements Aust Surfing Titles

Western Australia hosted the Australian Surf Riding Championships for the first time in May 1969.

Major WA board clubs billeted many eastern states surfers here for the Australian titles. The billeting arrangements were coordinated by WASRA and President Ron ‘Doc’ Naylor.

Image: 1969 WASRA billeting arrangements. Image credit Sunday Times.

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Floreat youngsters Ross Utting & David ‘Bull’ Moss from the City Beach Club hosted South Australian surfers Alistair Boot & Graham Symonds.

Ross UttingBull & I took the boys down south for the contest. I remember Ali bagging gutless WA waves while we were surfing pre contest at Yallingup. He got his comeuppance a couple of days later when he was nearly decapitated by his board when mowed down by a big wave at Margaret. Ali spent the rest of the week walking around with a bleeding tea towel on his head.

In Bali some 40 years later South Australian surfer Clint Habib told me that Ali has been scarred for life by the experience of big Margs & still hears the roaring freight train sound in his nightmares.

Photo: L-R 1969 Floreat locals Ross Utting & Dave Moss with SA competitors Ali Boot & Graham Symonds. Photo credit Ross Utting.

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Subiaco brothers Jim & Bruce King from the City Beach Club billeted World champion Nat Young & NSW champion Ted Spencer.

Bruce KingI drove to Perth airport to pick up our eastern states billets late at night. When I got there WASRA President Doc Naylor allocated Nat & Ted to our family. I was stoked to have them staying at our parent’s place.

Jim KingI didn’t go to the airport and had no idea who had been allocated to our parent’s place in Subi, so I was really surprised when I called in next morning and found mum serving a cooked brekkie to Nat & Ted. NSW surfboard manufacturer Shane Stedman (Shane Surfboards) used to come around & pick up the lads for surf commitments and chase mum around the Hills Hoist clothesline.

Photos: 1969 Nat & Ted at King residence in Subiaco. Photos courtesy of King family.

Top: (Left) Ted & Nat. (Right) Ted, Mrs King & Nat. Bottom: (Left) Ted, Jim & Nat. (Right) Nat & Jim.

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Contest rounds which were held at Scarborough & Margaret River with finals completed at Yallingup.

Misfortune struck some of the visitors at the Australian Surfing Titles down south. Nat Young (NSW) broke his favourite surfboard in the big swell at Margaret River. Alistair Boot (SA) was hit by a flying board at Margaret River and needed 19 stitches in his head. Ali went home with a sore head.

Images: L-R 1969 mixed fortunes Nat Young (NSW) broken board & Alistair Boot (SA) head injury. Image courtesy of WA Newspapers.

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Jim KingContest head honcho Doc Naylor recruited me as a contest official for the rounds held at Margaret River. I got the job of chaperoning the girls out in big waves at Main Break. The girls weren’t happy being sent out there & neither was I. Every time we spotted a big dark swell line on the horizon, we would paddle towards the middle bay to avoid getting cleaned up. It was great seeing Oz’s best surfers up close, but my wife Kath wasn’t too impressed, as we were on our honey moon at the time (-:

Photo: 1969 unidentified competitor surfing a solid left at Marg’s Main Break. Ric Chan pic.

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On completion of the successfully run contest, an Award Night function was held at Caves House Yallingup. It was attended by surfers, officials and friends. Peter Drouyn & other talented surfers entertained the troops. The next day the wind was on-shore and the visitors started heading home to their respective States.

Contest results and photos will be included in surf journo/photographer Ric Chan’s coverage of the ’69 Oz Surfing Titles. Ric’s SDS article is coming soon.

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Gallery

1971 Smiths Beach reef break

By the early 70s city surfers were aware of the good waves in the SW and were either living in the area or travelling to the region on weekends and holidays. One of their favourite haunts was Smiths Beach reef break.

NZ surf photographer Ric Chan captured these surf images on a sunny South West day in 1971.

Photo: 1971 Smiths reef Mark Johnson. Photo credit Ric Chan

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Photo: 1971 Smiths reef Steve ‘Sheepdog’ Cockburn. Photo credit Ric Chan

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Photo: 1971 Smiths reef unidentified surfer. Photo credit Ric Chan

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Photo: 1971 Smiths reef unidentified surfer. Photo credit Ric Chan

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Photo: 1971 Smiths reef Jeff ‘RE’ Marshall. Photo credit Ric Chan

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Photo: 1971 Smiths reef Ric Chan. Photo courtesy of Ric Chan

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Photo: 1971 Smiths reef party wave Steve ‘Sheepdog’ Cockburn on the inside. Photo credit Ric Chan

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Photo: 1971 Jim King cuttie at Smiths reef. Photo credit Ric Chan

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Fun in the sun.

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Gallery

1968 Yallingup – Invitational Event at the State Championships

In 1964 Bernard ‘Midget’ Farrelly (NSW) won the World Mens Title at the first World Surfing Championships held at Manly Beach NSW. Midget won from Californians Mike Doyle & Joey Cabell.

Photo: 1964 Midget surfing Manly on his way to winning World Mens Surfing Title. Photo courtesy of Keith Campbell (former WASRA President).

1964 Midget Champion at Manly

In 1968 former Australian world surfing champion ‘Midget’ Farrelly was invited to WA to compete in a special Invitational Event held in conjunction with the State Championships at Yallingup on the LWE in March 1968.

The field for WA’s Invitational event included Midget, prominent WA surfer Terry Jacks, former South Australian Barry Young and representatives from most states.

Image: 1968 Midget arriving at Perth Airport for the Invitational event. Newspaper image courtesy of the Daily News.

1968 Invitational Comp Yalls - Midget Farrelly

There was a big crowd in attendance to watch Midget surf at Yallingup. He bought rounded pintail surfboards to the event and WA surfers saw the new design from the East Coast for the first time. It introduced another advance in WA surfboard design.

Photos: 1968 Yalls Midget Farrelly & spectators at the Invitational Event. Photos courtesy of Sally Jones (nee Gunter).

Top: (Left) Midget with WASRA President Ron ‘Doc’ Naylor. (Right) Midget descending steps to the beach.
Bottom: (Left) Midget heading out to surf in Invitational event. (Right) Midget returning to the beach with his rounded pintail surfboard.

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The invitational event was held in sunny offshore conditions at Yallingup. Midge rode the lefts in his smooth controlled style. Terry Jacks was frothing and went for it. At the conclusion of the event many spectators thought Terry had won the event, but Midge’s name was already engraved on the trophy and that was that!

Some of Terry’s supporters kicked up a bit of dust, but it was in vain.

Images: 1968 Midget Farrelly at the Invitational event. Still frame images courtesy of City Beach Surf Riders Super 8 movie film.

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Image: 1968 Terry Jacks surfing in the Invitational event. Newspaper image courtesy of the Daily News.

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COMMENTS ON INVITATIONAL EVENT

Peter ‘Spook’ BothwellMidget had just got back from Hawaii and was full of stories about Joey Cabell and his pintails.

Barry ‘Baz’ YoungBesides me, for the Invitational, another surfer from interstate was Alex Chobinoff (NSW) who had been here for 6 months roughly like myself. I placed third in that Invitational as well as coming 2nd to Spook in the State Titles. It was pretty small that day and I gambled and surfed the ‘Bunbury Break’, which was named because of the crew of Bunbury surfers who surfed it more than most. It’s now known as “The Cove”. Whilst Midget and the other 4 competitors hassled each other at Main Break I got a little lucky where I was.

When Midget arrived for the contest and pulled 4 Pintails out of his car we were all flabbergasted. The Press on what was happening design wise over East was very limited and I’m pretty sure no one had heard about boards that had pointed tails. It seemed weird to have a tail shape that looked the same as the nose. There was a lot of disbelief and almost jeering as he walked past the big crowds lining the steps and beach with one of these strange designs under his arm on the way to the water. I think he thought about not staying for the Invitational, but the WASRA contest directors talked him around and tuned a few crew to keep their opinions to themselves for the rest of the weekend.

I have been surfing in the Maldives twice now in recent years, at the same time as Midget and his wife, and he still surfs pretty good for age 71.

Photo: 2015 Former WA Surfboard Manufacturer Tom Blaxell with 1964 World Surfing Champ Midget Farrelly in the Maldives. Photo courtesy of Tom Blaxell.

2015 Maldives Tom Blaxell and Midget farrelly at Pasta Point

In 2001 Surfing WA made a presentation to Midget Farrelly at Yallingup Beach.

Photos: (Left) 2001 montage presentation to Midget at Yalls designed by Quindalup’s Loz Smith. (Right) 2006 Midget & Loz Smith at Jack Egan photo exhibition held at Vasse Felix Winery.

2001 & 2006 Midget Farrelly & Loz Smith images collage_photocat

1968 STATE SURFING CHAMPIONSHIPS HELD AT YALLINGUP.

The state championships were held in good offshore conditions at Yallingup over the March long weekend. Members of most WA Board Clubs competed in the Titles. Finalists in the divisions went onto represent WA at the National Surfing Titles held in NSW in May 1968.

Editor’s NoteA month after the State Titles finalist Arty Sherburn nearly died when he was stung by a blue bottle jellyfish while surfing at Cottesloe. He was unable to take his place in the WA State Team and compete in the ’68 National Titles in NSW.

Images: (Left) 1968 Cover of WASRA program. (Right) Preview of State Titles at Yalls. Images courtesy of WASRA & the Daily News.

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Images: 1968 State Surfing Titles at Yalls. Images courtesy of the Daily News & Trevor Burslem.
(Left) Media preview of the WA Titles. (Right) Jim King competing in Open Division.

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CONTEST RESULTS

Peter ‘Spook’ Bothwell (age 19 years) from Sand n Sea board club won the Open Mens. Competing in 6ft surf Spook beat former South Australian Barry Young and Arty Sherburn the Southern Surfriders champion. Surprisingly, John Balgarnie & 1966 champion John Staley were eliminated in the semi-finals.

Ian Cairns from Southern Surfriders was the outstanding junior surfer & won the Junior Title from Phil Taylor & Ian ‘Moochie‘ Strongman.

Dave Williams won the Senior Title.

Maureen Farrell won the Womens Title.

Images: 1968 State Surfing Titles at Yalls.
(Left) Media review of the WA Titles courtesy of WA Newspapers.
(Right) Contest spectators & judges scaffolding on the beach. Photo Jim King.

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COMMENTS ON STATE SURFING TITLES

Peter ‘Spook’ BothwellThe 67 titles were when I thought I could win and was surfing at my peak. I didn’t get out of my heat, John Staley went on to win. In 68 I was over it (the competitive hype) and more relaxed. I thought John Staley was surfing good enough to win in 68, but he got over anxious like I did in 67 and was knocked out. My other memory was that everyone who surfed went in it. A bit like a festival.

I next went into a state contest in 76, after not surfing much for a few years and the crowd and competitive crew numbered about fifty. The atmosphere had changed, still seriously competitive, but the wider social interest went for a time.

Barry ‘Baz’ YoungIt was borderline whether I was eligible to compete in the main event (State Titles) because you had to have been living in WA for 6 months and I got Arty Sherburn and John Staley to say I had been here that long, but I think I was about a week short.

I had been called up for National Service and came to the West to surf as much as possible before going in. I ended up doing my Draft medical in Bunbury, and swallowed silver foil in the hope it would show up as a spot on my lung (it had worked in the Big Wednesday movie) but they never remarked on it. What they did notice was my very large surf bumps on my feet. I had gone to the medical in suede Desert Boots, which were the rage at the time and they asked me if I could wear leather boots, and I said I doubt it, so they got me to try a pair on, and I faked pain enough that they didn’t sign me up….relief! We had been losing about 3 or 4 soldiers a day in different skirmishes in Vietnam and I didn’t want to be part of it. I remember I hitched back to Yallingup and went out and had just the best surf. A big weight had been lifted from my shoulders.

SOCIAL

With a big LWE crowd in attendance it was not surprising that some anti-social behaviour occurred at Caves House pub on the Saturday Night.

Image: 1968 Media report on an alleged brawl at Caves House pub. Newspaper cutting courtesy of the daily News.

1968 Caves House Yalls pub brawl

A fun long weekend surfing & socialising in the South West was had by all.