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Ric Chan’s coverage of 1969 Australian Surf Titles in WA.

In 1965 young New Zealand surfer and photographer Ric Chan moved from New Zealand and landed in Brisbane Australia seeking adventure.

RicI brought my Pentax camera & second hand £26 600mm lens to shoot surf. For a couple of years I toured the East Coast of OZ chasing waves, women & adventure in my gold coloured VW Kombi van, which I built behind Jack Knight’s parent’s apartment in North Steyne. I earned $’s taking surf photos and selling them to Surf Magazines. I may be Australia’s first Chinese surfer/surf photographer.

Photo: 1968 Ric Chan’s gold Kombi outside Bob McTavish property in Northern NSW. Ric Chan pic.

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RicOn one of my surf trips, I met top surfers Wayne Dale and Lane Habib (South Australia). It was Lane who talked me into going to South Australia. I was a free spirit and thought why not! In Adelaide I met John Arnold who commissioned me to travel from SA to WA to cover the 1969 Australian Surfing Titles and design a movie ticket/poster for Paul Witzigs’ Evolution surf film.

Photo: 1968 John Arnold Surfboards brochure, compliments of Gasworks Surf Shops WA.

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The following images are Ric Chan’s photographic coverage of the ’69 Australian Surfing Titles. The design of the poster sized Evolution movie ticket is covered in the next SDS blog.

1969 AUSTRALIAN SURF TITLES

Western Australia hosted the Australian Surf Riding Titles for the first time in May 1969. The contest was blessed with offshore conditions and plenty of swell. Championship rounds were held at Scarborough and Margaret River and finished with finals at Yallingup.

Contest Results

Mens: 1. Nat Young NSW 2. Peter Drouyn QLD 3. Richard Harvey NSW.

Junior Mens: 1. Wayne Lynch VIC 2. David ‘Baddy’ Treloar NSW 3. Butch Cooney NSW.

Womens: 1. Josette Largardene QLD 2. Nola Shepherd SA 3. Judy Trim NSW.

Senior Mens: 1. Ted Harvey NSW 2. Alan Robins WA 3. Dave Williams WA.

WA surfers Peter ‘Spook’ Bothwell & Ian ‘Kanga’ Cairns were finalists in the Open & Juniors respectively

Image: 1969 newspaper clipping featuring Ric Chan and eastern states surfers at the ’69 contest. Image courtesy of Independent Newspaper. L-R Shane Stedman NSW, Ric Chan surf photographer NZ, Richard Harvey NSW & Glen Richie NSW.

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Ric was/is a flamboyant surf photographer. He infamously rowed out into the oversized Margs Main Break line-up in a row boat to shoot the surf contest.

RicWA contest official Trevor Burslem (dec’d) would call out the giant sets over the PA, to warn me of any big sets in-bound. I was only 26 years old at the time and had no fear back then!

Photo: 1969 surf photographer Ric Chan at Yallingup. Photo courtesy of Ric Chan.

 

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Photo: 1969 Margaret River line-up for the contest. Contest official Trevor Burslem is walking down the track in his parka. Ric Chan pic.

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Photos: 1969 Contest officials & photographers at Margaret River. Richard Harvey NSW (3rd from right top pic) Ric Chan pics.

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Photos: 1969 Contest spectators at Surfers Point at Margaret River. John Balgarnie WA bottom right. Ric Chan pics.

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Photos: 1969 competitors preparing for heats at Margaret River. Right: Richard Harvey NSW. Ric Chan pics

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Photo:  1969 David ‘Baddy’ Treloar NSW competing in the Junior Mens division at Margaret River. Ric Chan pic

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Photo:  1969 Ian Cairns WA competing in the Junior Mens division at Margaret River. Ric Chan pic.

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Photo:  1969 Wayne Lynch VIC competing in the Junior Mens division at Yallingup. Ric Chan pic.

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Photo: 1969 Robert ‘Nat’ Young NSW in the Mens division at Margaret River. Ric Chan pic.

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Photo: 1969 Peter Drouyn NSW in the Mens division at Margaret River. Ric Chan pic.

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Photos: 1969 unidentified surfer in the Mens division at Margaret River. Ric Chan pic.

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RicI liked what I saw in WA during the ’69 Titles and after finalising commitments in Adelaide I returned to WA later in the year. This time I drove my gold kombi across the Nullarbor, which was an unpaved road of bull dust. I surfed Cactus on route and saw a giant shark in the line-up and paddled straight in as I was the only person out. Then my kombi broke down after I hit a pot hole which was at least 3ft deep. The Kombi came to a grinding halt…nothing I did would make it go! An hour later a young guy stopped & asked if he could help…..he told me the carbie was flooded and to wait a while. We tore down some trees & lit a fire to keep warm & about another hour later, he told to fire up the motor and it worked! I continued on towards Perth.

Photo: 1969 Ric Chan posing on his gold Kombi during his passage across the Nullarbor Plain. Ric Chan pic.

Ric In WA I scored a job as a DJ in the Sheraton Down Under Disco. After that I joined Independent Newspapers as a photo journalist. I also did voice overs, modelled and presented for Jeans West and DJ’d at Gobbles Nightclub until 1985, then I headed to Bali to manage the Cheaters Night Club on the Kuta entertainment strip. But that’s another story…….

I’m like a flower in the wind and like to spread pollen all over the place!

Coming soon Design of movie ticket for 1969 ‘Evolution’ surf film.

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1969 Australian Surf Titles in WA – Marg’s images by Gavin McCaughey

In May 1969 the Nation’s best surfers competed in the Australian Surfing Championships held in WA.

These were the first Oz Titles held in WA and the first opportunity for WA surfers to see World Surfing Champion Nat Young and the cream of OZ surfers competing in metro & SW waves. Prior to that time, WA surfer’s exposure to the top OZ surfers was mainly through surf magazines and surf movies.

Like a lot of other WA surfers, young Scarborough surfer Gavin McCaughey followed the contest from Scarborough to Margaret River & then Yallingup in the South West.

These are Gavin’s photos and comments on some of the Eastern States surfers competing in the ’69 Oz Titles at Marg’s.

GavinWorld Champion Nat Young (NSW) broke his big wave surfboard in the solid waves at Marg’s Main Break. Nat changed to his other surfboard and went onto win the Open Men’s division.

Photo: 1969 World Champion Nat Young leaving the surf with broken surfboard at Marg’s. Gavin McCaughey pic.

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GavinIn this photo NSW team mates Nat Young & Ted Spencer are repairing Nat’s replacement surfboard on the beach at Marg’s. In the background watching the process are L-R WA representative Kevin Ager, Steve ‘Sheepdog’ Cockburn, unidentified, WASRA President Ronald ‘Doc’ Naylor (striped shirts were his signature) and a couple of unidentified eastern states surfers.

Kevin Ager – I do have a clear memory of the event surrounding this photo which Nat alludes to in his autobiog. “Nat’s Nat and that’s that” but it (my memory) is not as dramatic as Nat’s narrative. Talk about authors licence, but it does make for a good read!

In fact what Nat had done, prior to Gavin’s pic, was extend the hard edge further into the softer leading main rail section, as the board had little grip in the more powerful waves. Remember it was a Dewie Webber 7ft something, quite full Californian influenced design. Nat was struggling for drive and speed compared to Drouyn and Richard Harvey in the early heats when it was pumping.

After the bog mix gelled he placed it under a car exhaust to promote a quick cure. Unfortunately the mix had been over-primed and the heat of the exhaust made the bog mix ignite, badly burning the board.

The photo actually captures Nat and good mate Ted repairing the damaged section.

As mentioned before, Nats version is more sinister rather than hilarious, which it was during the rescue amid too many trying to help.

Photo: 1969 Nat Young, unidentified & Ted Spencer repairing Nat’s burnt surfboard at Marg’s. Gavin McCaughey pic.

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GavinThis pic shows the back of Paul Witzig (NSW surf journalist/photographer) whilst he checked out Marg’s main break.

Photo: 1969 Paul Witzig heading out for a surf at Marg’s. Gavin McCaughey pic.

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GavinThis pic shows Peter Drouyn (Qsld) with the surfing priest (whose name escapes me) at Marg’s. Peter finished 2nd to Nat in the Open division.

Photo: 1969 Surfing priest & Peter Drouyn chatting in Marg’s car park. Gavin McCaughey pic.

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Gavin – Wayne Lynch from Vic was one of the best junior surfer in World at that time and went on to win the Junior Title.

Photo: 1969 Wayne Lynch in the car park at Marg’s. Gavin McCaughey pic.

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The 69 Oz Surf Titles exposed the quality of SW waves to the world and many national & international surfers followed thereafter.

Coming soon Ric Chan’s coverage of the 1969 Australian Surfing Titles in WA.

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1970s Margaret River Region surfing images by Ric Chan

Surf photographer Ric Chan snapped these images in the Margaret River region during the mid-late 70s.

SOUTH OF MARG’S

Photo: 1978 surf trek on rugged coastline. Ric Chan pic.

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Photo: 1976 Redgate Beach tube. Ric Chan pic.

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MARG’s CENTRO

Photo: 1976 unidentified surfer at Margaret River. Ric Chan pic.

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Photo: 1979 Margaret River main break line-up. Ric Chan pic.

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Photo: 1979 unidentified surfer at Margaret River. Ric Chan pic.

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NORTH OF MARG’S.

Photo: 1976 unidentified surfer at Lefthanders. Ric Chan pic.

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Photo: 1976 unidentified surfer at Lefthanders. Ric Chan pic.

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Photo: 1977 unidentified surfer in water shot at Lefthanders. Ric Chan pic.

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Photo: 1978 unidentified surfer South Point. Ric Chan pic.

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1976 Brent Stewart with surfboard (unidentified design) at South Point. Ric Chan pic.

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Photo: 1979 unidentified surfer at South Point. Ric Chan pic.

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Photo: 1975 spectators at surfing competition held North Point. Ric Chan pic.

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Photo: 1979 North Point line-up. Ric Chan pic.

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Let us know if you can identify any of the unidentified surfers.

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1970s Margaret River People & Places images by Ric Chan

Photo-Journalist Ric Chan captured these Down South pics during the ‘70s. His images feature people & places from the Margaret River region.

Photo: 1973 unidentified gentleman having a cuppa at Margs. Ric Chan pic.

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Photo: 1975 Locals attending Margaret River Rowing Regatta held on the banks of Margaret River near Wallcliffe House. Ric Chan pic.

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Photo: 1976 Syd Tate’s Farm House at Rosa Glen. Ric Chan pic.

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Photo: 1975 social pics Syd Tate’s place at Rosa Glen. Ric Chan pic.

Top: (Left) Marina. (Right) Trinity Tate

Bottom: (Left) Ric Chan & camera equip. (Right) Syd Tate.

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Photo: 1975 Beach people at Margs. Ric Chan pics.

(Left) Shaun Atkinson & girlfriend Judy Punko (Right) Ric Gath.

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Photos: Marg River people pics by Ric Chan.

Left: 1975 unidentified & Tracy Ewen at the beach. Right: Trevor’s new board.

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Photos: 1975-76 old farm houses & sheds at Margs and Witchcliffe. Ric Chan pics.

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Photo: 1976 Tony Hardy & family at Margs. Ric Chan pic.

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Photo: 1973-76 Surf mobiles at Margs. Ric Chan pics.

(Left) 1973 Ric Chan’s gold coloured Kombi. (Right) 1976 Chris Reynolds’ chariot.

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Photos: 1976-77 Marg River beach scenes. Ric Chan pics.

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Photos: 1979 Steve ‘Hog’ Hannett’s tent site at Prevelly Park. Ric Chan pics.

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Photo: 1982 Sharon Walters & Steve Koehne hunter gatherers at Rosa Glen. Ric Chan pic.

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Photos: Then & Now Marg River Settlers Tavern images by Ric Chan.

Top: 1977. Bottom: 2016.

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Photos: Then & Now Marg River main drag images by Ric Chan.

Top 1977. Bottom 2015.

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Coming soon 1970s Margaret River Surfing Images by Ric Chan.

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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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