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Loz Smith’s recollections of 1985 Yallingup Malibu Surf Classic

The annual Yallingup Malibu Surf Classic (Yal Mal) has been running continuously for 30 years.

SW surf identity Laurance ‘Loz’ Smith and some of his surfing mates created and run the first contest in 1985.

These are Loz’s recollections of the inaugural event held at Yallingup Beach in 1985.

I thought up the idea of a gathering of SW friends to celebrate the long board revival and as a tribute to my SW longboard friend John ‘John Boy’ Malloy. Tom Hoye had shaped a Malibu board for John Boy and I enjoyed watching him surf Yallingup and Injidup Car Park.
Peter ‘Mac’ McDonald, Greg ‘Pants’ Laurenson & I met at Bob & Jenny Monkman’s place in Dunsborough for dinner on a Thursday and we talked about the contest and prizes.
I then designed contest posters and a t-shirt and collected contest prizes. I paid Mick Button $350 to make a Santosha longboard to present to the winner. ‘Pants’ (GL Surfboards) shaped a fibreglass version of a mal to scale to present as a perpetual trophy to winners. Pat Leahy (Wetsuits) donated a wettie and Baz Young (Ripcurl) donated 6 pairs of board shorts as prizes.

Photo: 2015 Quindalup Loz Smith with the original Surf Classic t-shirt. Photo credit Loz Smith.

2015 Loz Smith holding original 1985 Yal Mal t-shirt - Loz Smith pic IMGP7116a

The Contest was promoted by poster and word of mouth. The initial contest was postponed when it was discovered it clashed with a couple getting married. It was changed to accommodate the wedding and we missed perfect waves on that occasion.

Legendary NSW surfer Jim Banks) was surfing The Bluff at the time. He got sick and I drove back to Cronulla in NSW with him. I stayed a couple of months with Jim in NSW and there was concern about the future of the contest. But John Boy had spread the word amongst SW & city surfers and it was still on. Then John Boy had to return to home in USA and I took over promotion again.

Unfortunately the surf for the rescheduled contest (after wedding cancellation) was onshore & only 1/2 foot. It was postponed to a later date at a meeting held at Surfside on the Saturday morning.

On the third attempt 100 surfers gathered at Yalls on the Saturday to find atrocious conditions and it was cancelled for the day.
That night a dance was held at Yallingup Hall with music provided by Gina Pannone and Vance & Nance Burrow. The dance finished at midnight and Terry Jacks helped clean up the hall. I crashed 2am at Rob Malcolm’s place on Yallingup hill.

I was woken up approx 6am by Craig Brent-White. The morning was hazy and the ocean & horizon blended into each other. We went down to the beach to ascertain conditions. The swell was a clean 8-10ft & wind offshore. There was a large gathering at the beach. Many crew headed to the public toilets to ease the tension on their tummy…..it was seriously big!

Tony ‘Harbo’ Harbison confirmed the contest was on. But no one was keen to go out for first heat.

I wanted the contest to be a success and recoup my expenditure on contest t-shirts. So I grabbed my Jacko single fin longboard souvenired from the Yallingup tip and tied 2 extra rail savers onto my Pipeline leg rope. I entered the ocean near Grannies Pool and paddled wide out into the bay to get in the line-up. Not being a big wave surfer my balls and heart were in a race to get to my throat. After what seemed like an eternity I got out the back to take a rest. I was so far out I had a view of Caves House gardens. After some time I paddled into a smaller swell, my rubbish tip found Jacko surfboard with rolled rails to the tail, refused to hold into the left-hander & I fell down the face with the whole lip going over my head. It was the worst wipe-out I can recall. I retrieved my board and while paddling back out to attempt another wave, to my absolute joy, I witnessed the First Heat descending down the steps at Yalls. I caught another wave with the express intention of getting in.

I cheered the boys as they paddled out. At the top of the steps the judges were at the ready. Harbo told me I was in the next heat.
After regathering my courage, I followed Harbo across the reef for the second heat. I followed him thinking he knew Yalls better than me. We launched off the reef into a maelstrom of white water near The Bubble. Unfortunately I was hit by a mountain of white water and my board struck my funny bone and I lost feeling in my arm. Still managing to follow Harbo, I eventually got out the back and caught a left, I came straight in.

The day went on. Ian ‘Lips’ Mitchell snapped Pat Leahy’s brand new Town & Country mal in half. He got caught inside on the biggest wave of the day, a 10-12ft monster.

Craig ‘Clarrie’ Brent-White snapped Greg Laurenson’s brand new 9’1” hand shaped long board. Craig bought in part of the board and the rest floated out to sea.

Photo: 2014 Quindalup. Craig Brent-White on his 66th birthday with the remnants of Greg Laurenson’s long board snapped at the 85 contest.

2015 Craig Brent-White holding 1985 Yal Mal GL broken mal - Loz Smith pic IMGP7117a

John ‘Headstand’ Clemenger made the final and took out the event after borrowing Dan Darrigan’s 10’6” GL custom single fin longboard. John took off on a 5ft left and did a headstand before returning to his feet and finishing the wave. Conditions turned on-shore during the finals.

Judging was different in this contest. The result was split between the judges and the crowd’s choice. It was a unanimous decision and John ‘Headstand’ Clemenger was judged the winner.

Photo: 1985 Surf Classic finalists: L-R Bob Monkman, Robbo, John Clemenger (kneeling with board), Peter Mac, Ian ‘Mitch’ Mitchell, Peter Dyson, Ross Tomsett (the big black dog belonged to Ross & was called Cindy or Bear), Cliff Hills, Gene Hall, Tony Harbison, Keith Campbell & Kevin ‘Twiggy’ Sharland. Photo credit Loz Smith

1985 Yal Mal4 finalists

Afterwards contest presentations were held on the beach. There were many prizes and Robbo won the worst wipe-out award. Later there were festivities and recollections of fear factors at Caves House. While I do have some photos of spectators on the beach, unfortunately I have no photos of contest surfing at the event.

Photo: 1985 Surf Classic presentations on the beach. Brian Cole, Harbo and Cliff Hills can be seen at the back on left. Photo credit Loz Smith.

1985 Yal Mal beach presentation Brian Cole, Harbo, Cliff Hills - Loz Smith pic IMG_02a

Photo: 1985 Surf Classic spectators. L-R Brian Sherrington and Wayne ‘Choco’ Cartledge sitting on wall. Photo credit Loz Smith.

1985 Yal Mal spectators Brian Sherington & Wayne 'Choco' Cartlidge - Loz Smith pic IMG_03a

Photo: 2014 Yallingup Surf Classic presentations at Caves House. Contest winner Justin Redman with the GL perpetual trophy. Photo credit Loz Smith.

2014 Yal Mal Justin Redman - Loz pic IMGP7600a

The 2015 Yallingup Malibu Classic will be contested this coming weekend December 5-6, 2015. Put it on your social calendar!

 

 

 

 

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Public Toilets at Yallingup Beach

The Public Works Dept built public toilets on the beach front at Yallingup in the early 60s. The toilet block served the community for more than three decades.

In the 60-70s the old toilets were used by visiting surfers as overnight accommodation in inclement weather. The women’s section was usually cleaner & dryer and the preferred sleeping quarters.

Louie ‘Longboard’ Corkill – “In the early 70s I used to camp in the old brick toilets on Yalls beach. I slept in a board bag made of quilt by my mother.”

Ross Utting recalls – “Sleeping arrangements at Yallingup were always problematical with a full car, especially when it was raining.
In desperation, one night me & my mate Norm (Dot) Kitson hatched a plan to escape the wet by staying up late & then bedding down in the ladies toilets.
For some reason the floor of the men’s toilets was always wet, but the ladies was dry. We stay up til past midnight comfortable that in the unlikely event that a female was in the area, they would have done their business by then. I bed down as far away from the door as possible, but Dot lays his bag down right in the middle, the idiot. About 2.30am I am awakened by a mad woman screaming blue murder. Apparently she had tripped over Dot & fallen face first onto him. Immediately I know what has happened & am willing Dot “stay in your bag”, “stay in your bag”. But no, like the idiot he is, Dot jumped out of his bag with just his underpants on & is trying to put his arm around the woman to settle her down. Of course this really fires her up. Reckon it would have scared me a bit too if a long haired bloke in his underpants tried to put his arm around me in the toilets at 2.30 in the morning. Anyway, she eventually escapes & runs out of the toilets never to be seen again.
I didn’t sleep a wink after that as I was waiting for the girl’s boyfriend to come & give us a good kicking or for the cops to take us away. Thankfully nothing happened, but we never slept in the ladies toilets again.”

Refer to Surfing Down South book for more tales of visiting surfers camping in the toilets.

Photo: 1969 Yallingup. Young Ian Cairns (16) with his short Jacko single fin surfboard on the lawn in front of the brick toilet block . Photo credit Ric Chan.

1969 Yalls State Titles I Cairns - R Chan img405

Photo: 1975 Yalls beach front layout. Surrounding the bitumen car park is Surfside Store on the left and the brick toilets (circled) on the right under melaleucia trees. The photo was taken during the 75 State Surfing titles at Yalls. Photo Ric Chan.

1975 Yalls State Titles Yalls car park img097

Image: 1985 Yallingup Malibu Surf Classic (Yal Mal) finalists standing in front of old brick toilets at Yalls Beach. This image has been signed by the finalists. Image credit Loz Smith.

Yal Mal Finalists. L-R Bob Monkman, Robbo, John Clemenger, Pater Mac, Ian ‘Mitch’ Mitchell, Peter Dyson, Cliff Hills, Gene Hall, Tony Harbison, Keith Campbell & Kevin ‘Twiggy’ Sharland.

1985 Yal Mal finalists - Loz Pic (signed) DSC_4751

Photo: 1986 Yallingup residents Alex, daughter Kamala (holding Haley Simpson) and Christine Brennan viewing Yal Mal contest from the lawn in front of the old brick public toilets. Note 1986 Classik graffiti on painted toilet wall. Photo credit Loz Smith.

1986 Yal Mal Alex, daughter Kamala holding Haley Simpson & Chrisitine Brennon - Loz Pic IMG_05

New Toilet Block

The original brick amentities was demolished in the 90s and replaced with a new stone toilet block re-located in front of the Surfside complex. Yallingup residents Rob Malcolm and Ashley Jones were instrumental in ensuring the design was conducive to it’s surroundings. Local ‘big wave’ surfer Tony Harbison built the new toilet block.

Photo: 2015 Yalls Kim ‘Dish; Standish and Bryn the dog standing in front of stone toilet block built by Harbo in the 90s. This image also features the new surfboard shaped showers installed in June 2015. Photo credit Jim King.

2015 Yalls toilet block & new showers Dish & Bryn DSC_9009

Photo: 2015 Yalls Mick Marlin, Bruce King & Louie Corkill (with Sinbad the dog) sheltering from the rain in the new stone toilets. Photo credit Jim King.

2015 Yalls Mick Marlin, Bruce King & Louie with Bowie DSC_9876

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Surfing Rotto in the 50s.

Surfing at Rottnest Island has been a popular pastime since the mid-50s. Cottesloe surfers made the maiden voyage to Rotto by surfboard.

Mark Paterson: “Cottesloe surfers John ‘Artie’ Shaw (champion board paddler), Lester Watkins and George Bevan from Coogee NSW were the first to paddle to Rotto on surfboards in the mid-50s. They paddled 16ft plywood boards and wore Army grey coats from Cottesloe to Rotto & return. On arrival the boys had a beer or two at Rotto pub before returning to the mainland. Their exploits were reported in the West Australian”.

Circa 1955 young City of Perth clubbies Jim Keenan, Graham ‘Cocko’ Killen & Tony Harbison paddled wooden surf skis from City Beach to Rotto and surfed waves at Transit Reef and Salmon Bay. This action on SLSC equipment eventually led to the boys being suspended from the surf club.

Jim Keenan: “Rottnest in the 50’s from a surfing point of view was absolute fun, especially when the Transit breaks were running. There were quite a few of us that surfed the Transit area. Dave Williams, Tony Harbison & John Budge were part of the group. These boys would travel over on the ferry and surf on their toothpick surfboards.

Salmon Bay was less well known and surfed and when we did it was very hairy. Salmon Bay produced challenges above and below the water line. On south west swells the ‘bommies’ threw up some quality big wave surfing above and below sharks ensured you stayed with your board or ski.

We did toy with the idea of taking on West End, but I am glad that’s as far as it got as that spot is full on.

Rottnest was heaven in those early days. Dhufish, crays were prolific and the beer was good also. We used to send our crates across on the Islander ferry and then float them across Thomson Bay to our camp site. We used to get our gear across on the Islander for free in the very early days.

It certainly was a step up from what was available on the Perth coastal beaches. It also toned up the skills necessary to what was to follow at Yallingup and Margaret River once our transport needs were cured.

Paddling to Rottnest was an adventure on its own especially at the ripe old age of 15 to 16 years. It was hard work and on occasions dangerous. On one particular journey a fog moved in while we were paddling through the shipping channel. A ship’s fog horn could be heard but not seen until it was bearing down on us at close quarters. Cocko and I on the double were able to escape reasonably quickly but for Tony Harbison on the single ski it was a close call as the Orcades (a passenger liner) bore down on us.

On another return journey from Rotto, my paddling partner Cocko on the two man ski fell asleep and slipped overboard, it was some time before I realized and returned to pick him up.

Our eventual suspension from the Surf Club for refusing to comply with a Harbour and Light’s ‘No paddling to Rottnest directive’ was indirectly an absolute blessing. It freed up our weekends and along with our newly found wheels firmly embedded Yallingup into our veins.

Yes, Rottnest played a part in many of the early Yallingup crew and is fondly remembered by all.”

Photo: 1956 Surfing at City Beach. L-R: Dave Williams on plywood toothpick surfboard and Jim Keenan & Cocko Killen on plywood double surf ski – Photo credit Ray Geary.

1956 City Beach Dave Williams toothpick board and Jim Keenan & Cocko Killen on double ski - Ray GearyA

In November 1958 pioneer surfers Brian Cole, Don Roper, Ken Hamer & others spent a couple of weeks holidaying on Rotto. Some of Brian’s holiday snaps & comments follow.

Brian Cole: “On a still night sounds carry from Transit reef back to Phillip Rock and the settlement in Thomson Bay. One moonlight & windless night Don Roper, Ken Hamer, myself (and others) went surfing at Transit after a few beers at the pub. The next day Mrs. Homes from Homes Tearoom, told us she could hear everything we said and asked us to keep our voices down and be more discreet in future.”

In the mid-50s the Islander & Wandoo worked the Freo to Rotto ferry route. The Wandoo was primarily a work boat and the trip could take a few hours on a fresh NW wind.

Photo: 1958 Don Roper (3rd from front) arriving at Rotto on Wandoo ferry. Photo credit Brian Cole.

1958 Rotto Wandoo ferry arriving Don Roper 3rd from front - Brian Cole pic 004

Pioneer surfer Barry ‘Joe’ King was a pilot and flew an Austen monoplane to the Island to get his hours up for a commercial licence. His mates often kicked in for the trip and did winter flights to Rotto with Joe. The boys were sometimes allowed to take over the controls over the water.

Photo: 1958 Don Roper & Barry ‘Joe’ King with the Austen monoplane at Rotto airport. Photo credit Brian Cole.

1958 Rotto Don Roper & Barry 'Joe' King next to Auster monoplane  - Brian Cole pic 005

Photo: 1958 The main street of Rotto. The famous Bakery is on the left and the Butchers shop is on the right. Photo credit Brian Cole.

1958 Rotto main street - Brian Cole pic 007

Photo: 1958 Brian Cole and Owen Oates sitting on an old bomb at Rotto Salt Works. Other old vehicles from the former Salt Works can be seen in the background. Photo credit Brian Cole.

1958 Rotto old bomb at the salt works Brian Cole & Owen Oates - Brian Cole pic 012

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1985 Yallingup Malibu Classic recollections by Greg Laurenson

The annual Yallingup Malibu Classic (Yal Mal) will celebrate it’s 30th Anniversary at Yallingup on 29 & 30 November 2014.

In 2004 WA Surf Industry legend Greg Laurenson recorded his recollections of the first competition held in 1985. An excerpt from his recollections follows:-

“It was just a few mates, Tony Harbison, Johnboy Molloy, Bob Monkman and myself, and of course Loz – he’s the one that put soul into the event. We thought that it would be a good idea to have a little comp at our home break, any money raised would go back into the community – swings for the kids’ maybe, who knows. Anyway, that first Mal Classic little it was not. The bright sunlit crystal clear water of Yallingup lagoon in summer had given way to a heavy overcast sky and a larger than large raw southern ocean swell. Great, who’s in the first heat? Not me I hope was the consensus and it was amazing how many sprained ankles appeared. But the two days went off really well, we all got hammered, Clary Brent-White broke my new board into three pieces, Peter Dyson made us all laugh and John Clemenger, WA’s wandering surf legend took out the event. So that was that – the first one. Who would have thought that over the following years the event would develop and grow as it has into such a beautiful uplifting occasion”.

1985 Finalists in the first Yal Mal standing in front of the old brick toilet block at Yallingup. The photo taken by Loz Smith has been signed by the finalists and Greg Laurenson. It was purchased by the Burrow family at auction. L-R Bob Monkman, Robbo O’Brien (worst wipe-out), Peter Mac, John Clemenger, Ian Mitchell, Peter Dyson, Ross Tomsett, Cliff Hills, Gene Hall, Tony Harbison, Keith Campbell & Kevin ‘Twiggy’ Sharland (surf photographer) – Loz Smith image courtesy of Vance Burrow.

1985 Yal Mal finalists - Loz Pic (signed) DSC_4751

Another excerpt from Greg Laurenson’s recollections of first Yal Mal follows:-

“Anticipation starts to fill the air as the day’s events draw to a close. It’s the back tie and boardies Surfers Ball at Surfside. Later that evening all the crew and their girls are fully buffed and ready to rock. Gina and her wonderful band were there – I could tell it was her from the first note. Memories of Caves House on a Sunday afternoon with Nance & Vance Burrow and Gina on vocals came flooding back – truly good times. So let the good times roll and roll they did except for one minor hiccup with the weather gods and as with any real surfers ball a visit from the police just after midnight just to give the show a bit of cred”.

1987 Yal Mal competition tent and competitors on the lawn at Yallingup. Photo courtesy of Andy Jones.

1985 Yalls Yal Mal comp Andy Jones pic_0010A

2014 Veteran Yallingup surfer Peter Dyson modelling Yal Mal 30th Anniversary t-shirt designed by Loz Smith – Photo credit Loz Smith.

2014 Quindalup Peter Dyson in 1985 Yal Mal t-shirt Loz design & picA