3.30 am Sunday
morning - I move out.
Jack Sullivan's place at ten to four and the wind pushing the leaves noisily along the asphalt.
After an uneventful
trip to Sydney we motor into the Palm Beach area around 6.30 a.m.
Nothing doing so we check all the beaches to Manly before calling at Bob Brewster's Surf Shop and checking with Ross Kelly and "Snow" McAllister to find the venue of the contest that was supposed
to have commenced at 6 a.m., but I seeing most every,one attended the ,party at Bob's pad on Saturday night this is a most unlikely starting time.
Back and forth, back and forth we go ! and nobody knows anything at all about the competition, until we see Midget, later on, tearing away from Palm Beach in his G.T. Falcon, so we set ,off in hot pursuit in my all powerful Morris 1100?
Well, we found him at Avalon and discovered that everyone was at Whale Beach.
Next thing, everybody decided Narrabeen is the place, so a small cavalcade of cars troop off where a decision is made at 10 a.m. to cancel the competition until 4 p.m. at least, as there was a reception for our visitors at Jonah's Restaurant at 1 p.m.
The honoured guests
and otherwise were in the process of finishing their meal when we entered
so we politely waited before mingling with the crowd.
During his speech, Thor Svenson, made, reference to the facts that they teach blind people how to surf in California and every year at Makaha in Hawaii they clear the beach for he lepers to come and surf on their surfboards.
During his speech he stated that older people should listen more to what the younger generation had to say and then he presented the younger Windansea organisers with San Diego ornamented cigarette lighters.
Later on Bernard Farrelly received a certificate in appreciation of his contributions to the sport in general, but the real winner was Ignacio Felix, President of the Baja Surf Club in Mexico.
He gave Max Bowman a beautiful beaten copper calendar of Aztec origin and made the presentation first in Spanish, then in English.
The speeches complete, the international surfing fraternity exchanged ideas and chatted merrily until 4.30 when the inevitable announcement was made, the contest was off till the next day.
Avalon Beach but as it is a mobile contest they end up at Long Reef on the Saturday, starting behind scheduled time.
The semi-finals on Sunday are due to begin at 6 a.m.
Many people other
than ourselves, also travelled over 100 miles for the purpose of seeing
the Yanks in action and there was tremendous spectator interest in Sydney,
but how could they know what was happening when the officials weren't sure
Spectator wise, the contest was a farce.
They went on with the semis on Monday and sorted out the finalists, who included Mike Purpos and Steve Bigler, before the surf gave way and the contest final was postponed until Sunday.
with Joey Hamasaki
Q.: Are Australian girls strong competition for overseas girls?
A.: Very strong.
Q.: Has any different style evolved in America to Australia or are they silmilar?
A.: Phylis 0 'Donnell's style is a lot different, but I think Gail Couper has more of Iike a Californian surfer, she's really smooth.
Q. : I believe there are about 10 times as many girl surfers in the U.S.A., is this true?
A.: Yes, it is.
Q.: The U.S.S.A. has been functioning for a while now, is it at all successful?
A.: Yes, it's going along just fine.
Q.: How about the atmosphere in competition, is there any more seriousness attached to them over there?
A.: Quite a bit.
Q. : Do you
think professionalism has improved competitions or otherwise?
A.: I don't think so, it's all the same to me.
Q.: Personally, it doesn't make any difference to you when you are in the water?
A.: No, I feel just the same.
Q.: From what little you have seen of Australian beaches, how do they rate with American?
A.: Well, I haven't
seen enough and the waves that we have surfed haven't been that good.
I'm really looking forward to going to Hawaii.
Q.: Experimentation is done a great deal in the U.S., how far has the short board theme progressed?
A.: Dewey Weber has had these hoards for two years now and nobody thought they would work; like all my friends thought I was crazy to ride a board so small but I like it.
Q.: How long is your board?
Q.: And this length performs alright?
A.: Perfect, perfect.
with Mike Purpos (sic, Purpus)
Q.: Mike, you won the Oceanside Triple A Invitational earlier this year, have you been placed since then?
A.: Yes, there were four Triple A meets in California this year and I won three and was placed third in the fourth meet.
Q.: Professionalism, do you find it beneficial or not?
A.: It's beneficial
because a lot of the better guys get a chance to travel around, paid by
manufacturer, and they have a lot of spending money, enough to live on, ...
... and they get to compete against a greater number of surfers and to meet different personalities and get to know other styles to improve their surfing.
Q.: Whose idea was it for the Windansea to tour?
A.: It was Thor's
idea because we take a trip like this every year and he is the director
of the club, but
Eric Blum Productions, a branch of , Twentieth Century Fox, made it all possible.
Q.: What about the standard of the Australian surfer, above or below the Californians?
A.: I think that
McTavish and Young are the best surfers in the world.
That's why I came over here, to pick out the best things that they re doing and work on them when
get back to California.
I'm really dsisappointed in Californian surfers because they specialise on one thing too much and don't have a complete repertoire like McTavish or Young.
Q.: You placed in your heat and came second in your quarter final yesterday, how do you feel about the surf here, was it difficult to ride, did I you feel disorientated away from your home beaches?
I was really pleased with the surf, it was my kind of wave with a big fast
drop and a section where you can please yourself right in the most critical
I knew McTavish and Young were both judging on critical position more than tricks and everything, like I won the Oceanside just on tricks and probably most of my other performances in California, but I came over here to learn the basic curl riding of just riding completely inside the wave rather than doing tricks out on the shoulder.
I tried to surf like Young and McTavish wanted people to surf and it paid off for me yesterday.
Q.: Then you feel that surfers should learn the basic manoeuvres well before they start concentrating on one or two tricks.
A.: Well, that
is what I am trying to achieve.
In California the judges don't go on critical wave position, they go mostly on things like nose riding thirty feet out on the green and doing reverse fin take-offs all the time.
Reverse fin take-offs are a good thing when they pertain to a functional manoeuvre such as a turn or a stall, but if you are doing them just for the sake of doing them there's no point in it.
Q. : What about
the advent of the shorter boards, are they advantagous?
Do you ride one yourself?
A.: No, I ride
a 9'5" surfboard and I thought that was really small before I came here.
Then I arrived and I talked to Midget Farrelly a great deal and I think his board is the best one I have seen over here and I have seen McTavish's and Young's.
I will take back some of his fundamental ideas and incorporate them in my own model that I have back in California.
Q.: How about Midget's surfing ability, do you like his style?
A.: I really dig
Midget's surfing, I like it a lot.
Midget is one of the nicest personalities I have ever met over here and he is a great guy and I a great surfer.
(and the contest that never was)
Volume 4 Number 4,
March 1968, pages 25 to 29.