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1970s Surfing Transit Reef at Rotto

In the early 70s surf photographer Ric Chan accompanied members of the Greg ‘Pants’ Laurenson surf team on a day trip to Rotto.  Ric took water pics from a tinnie of team riders John Balgarnie (Cottesloe) and Phil Henderson (City Beach) surfing Transit Reef .

Photo: 1970s John Balgarnie & Greg Laurenson photo shoot on Rotto. Photo credit Ric Chan.

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Photo: 1970s John Balgarnie surfing left at Transit. Photo credit Ric Chan

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Photo: 1970s John Balgarnie cuttie at Transit. Photo credit Ric Chan.

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Photo: 1970s John Balgarnie doing a spinner at Transit. Photo credit Ric Chan

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Photo: 1970s John Balgarnie smiling for camera at Transit. Photo credit Ric Chan

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Photo: 1970s Phil Henderson surf left at Transit. Photo credit Ric Chan

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Photo: 1970s Phil Henderson cuttie at Transit. Photo Ric Chan.

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Photo: 1970s Phil Henderson cuttie at Transit. Photo credit Ric Chan.

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In the 70s WA Surfboard/Boat Manufacturer Tom Blaxell raced his 4.3m Surfrider power boats offshore.

Tom Blaxell: “I still hold the record for the most offshore power boat racing wins in WA. By co-incidence inaugural State Surfing Champion Alex ‘Zac’ Kochanowitcz has one of the Surfrider boats I built down south at the old North End Board Riders property at Prevelly.

Photo: 1975 Blaxell Surfrider power boat jumping waves at Transits. Tom Blaxell is behind the wheel with Trigg surfer Paul Cunningham in the back seat. Photo Credit Ric Chan.

1975 Rotto Blaxell Surfrider jumping waves at Transits Tom & Paul Cunningham in the back - Ric Chan IMG_0410

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1973 Celebrity pic

NZ surf photographer/journalist Ric Chan took this Celebrity pic at the 1973 Australian Surfing Titles held at Margaret River WA.

It features legendary Australian surfer Michael ‘MP’ Peterson (Qsld), Rip Curl surf co-founder Doug ‘Claw’ Warbrick (Vic) and a host of WA surfing heavy weights.

MP was Australian Champion in 72 & 74 and  won many other major surfing competitions including the Bells Beach Classic. Although MP scored highly in the early rounds at Margs, fellow Queenslander Richard Harvey emerged victorious and Peter Townend was runner-up.

Photo: 1973 Aust Surfing Titles at Margaret River WA. MP (bottom left) is making his way through spectators to enter the water for his surfing heat. ‘Claw’ is on the far right in the hat. Amongst the spectators at the back of the pic are WA boys Len Laskewicz, John Balgarnie, Trevor Burslem, Tom Blaxell & Errol Considine. Fred Annesley and Colin Ladhams are on the right. Dave Ellis is at the front in the cap with his back to camera. Photo credit Ric Chan.

1973 Marg River Aust Surf Titles Michael Peterson (Qsld) Trev Burslem Tom Blaxell Errol Considine, Doug Claw Warbrick (Vic) - Ric Chan1

Let us know if you recognise others in this classic surf history pic.

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2015 Tom & Midget in the Maldives

Former WA surfboard manufacturer Tom Blaxell recently returned from a surf trip to the Maldives. While there he met up with former World Surfing Champion Bernard ‘Midget’ Farrelly from NSW.

Photo: 2015 Tom & Midget in the Maldives. Photo by Dara from Atoll Adventures.

2015 Maldives Tom Blaxell and Midget farrelly at Pasta Point

Tom: “We had great waves and I’m told some of the biggest swell to come through this year. Amongst the usual suspects like Russ Parry, Al Bean and Baz Young, I ran into Midget Farrelly who by coincidence shares some common things with me. When he won the very first World Surfing Title in 1964, it was the year I made my first board (at the age of 14). Part of the inspiration for that was a book my Dad gave me, written by Midget called “This Surfing Life“. It was all about how surfing was not just a passing craze, but an all-consuming passion that engulfs your life and your outlook on it. And here we are 50 years later still doing it and enjoying it.
1964 also happened to be the year surfing WA (then WASRA) was founded, and when I was President in 1994, we had a big reunion gig at the Continental Hotel in Claremont to celebrate WASRA’s 30th anniversary. Midget was invited over and was a keynote speaker at the event.”

Photo: 2015 Tom surfing in the Maldives. Photo by Dara from Atoll Adventures.

2015 Maldives Tom Blaxell at Pasta point

Photo: 2015 Al Bean ripping in the Maldives. Photo by Dara from Atoll Adventures.

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Photo: 2015 Baz Young cuttie in the Maldives. Photo by Dara from Atoll Adventures.

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SDS Administrator on Leave – August 2015

Hi everybody,

SDS Web/FB Admin is taking a well-earned winter break during August. Stories will still be posted once a week on a Wednesday.

All messages will be dealt with upon return.

Happy surfing!

SDS Admin

The following photo was taken in 2013 after a ‘talk fest’ at the ‘Foamlust Surf Festival’ held in Margaret River. L-R Sue-Lyn Aldrian-Moyle (author of Surfing Down Surf book), Jim King, Tom Blaxell, Bill Gibson & Mick Marlin. Photo credit Laurence ‘Loz’ Smith.

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1978 OZ Surfing Titles at South Point WA

The 1978 Australian Surfing Titles were held at South Point Cowaramup Bay.

National contest winners were Open Mens: Colin Smith NSW, Junior Mens: Tom Carroll (NSW), Womens: Leith Temple (Qld) and WA’s Barry Young won the Seniors Mens Division.

Photo: 1978 Contest judges. L-R unidentified, WA’s Keith ‘Jock’ Campbell and Barry Nettles in dark jumpers and other unidentified persons officiating in the judging tent. Photo credit Ric Chan. (Jock was WASRA President 1978-80 and 1984-85. Barry was a member of Dolphins Board Club).

Tom Blaxell: “Barry used to be called ‘Tanker Channel’ because he always sat way out the back (about 50 metres further out than anyone else) to catch the real biggies.”

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Photos: 1978 contest surfing at South Point. Photos courtesy of Ric Chan.

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Photos: 78 Oz Titles Contest officials, spectators & wave line-up. Photos courtesy of Ric Chan.

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Photos: 78 Oz Titles contest officials & spectators. Photos courtesy of Ric Chan.

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Photos: 78 Oz Titles WA contest officials & competitors.

Left: WASRA Official Ken Trainer from Scarborough Board Club. Photo credit Ric Chan. (Ken Trainer & his father Percy served as WASRA Presidents and are both Life Members of Surfing WA).

Right: (Top) Ian ‘Kanga’ Cairns (dual World Cup winner 1975 & 1980) chatting with hospitality entrepreneur and former Cordingley Surfboards front man Bill Oddy. Photo credit Ric Chan.

Right: (Bottom) Yallingup’s Baz Young celebrating his win in the Senior Mens Division with friends at Margaret River. Photo credit Barry Young.

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For more information on contests & WASRA officials refer to Surfing WA Celebrating 50 Years book.