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witzig : 1968 world  contest and evolution, 1969 

Paul Witzig : 1968 Puerto Rico World Contest and Evolution.

Paul Witzig: Impressions of the World Contest and Evolution
Surf International
Volume 2, Number 1, March 1969.

The two page article was headed with a wide shot of Midget Farrelly, free surfing at Rincon, Puerto Rico.
All the photographs are unaccredited, but are most probably by the editor's brother and Australian film-maker, Paul Witzig, and some do not have captions
A cropped section from page 27 is reproduced below.

Note Wayne was knocked out by a drop-in by Nuuhiwa, page 26.

Given the enforcement of an interference rule, this is more likely to be "Wayne was knocked out by a drop-in on Nuuhiwa."
See Contest Results: 1968 World Contest Puerto Rico.

Also, (Wayne went) back to his town (Lorne) ... to wait for South Africa, where the next world contest will be held in June/July 1970.
The 1970 world contest was held at Bells Beach and Johanna, Victoria, just down the road from Lorne.

 Also see:
1969 Paul Carey : World Contest  Peurto Rico.
Surf International Vol. 2. No. 1  January 1969  Pages 18 to 25.

There is also a one page article by film producer, Paul Witzig, on his upcoming release , Evolution, with three frames of Wayne Lynch.

Page 26

The world contest in Puerto Rico was a time and a place when surfers from many different lands got together, lived together, renewed old friendships and made new ones which will last for many years.

It was a time when we finally ironed out our old differences with Hawaii; and we created new bonds between our lands.

When we found the friendship of Downing and Hemmings and Apia and Akon and Pena.
The wife of Peruvian Pancho Wise.
I cannot explain to you in words what Pena was to us.
Mother, sister, friend.
Always smiling.
Always ready to listen to our problems.

Wayne, Nat, Ted and I had been in Puerto Rico for a month before the contest began.
Not too much good surf during that period.
Two or three swells, each lasting three or four days, and never over six feet.

So when the contest began and a small swell came on the first day, we were anxious for them to run the small wave event quickly, and take maximum advantage of the swell.
But the officials decided to run the the Women's on the first day.
So that by the time they got the Men' heats going the swell was already dropping and, with tired judges and all, there was not enough time to finish the event.

So, with the quarters, semis and finals to go, began four days of tension and frustration while we waited for a new swell.

At this stage let me say that had Eduardo started the men's event on the first day and finished it in the first swell, either Wayne or Nat would almost certainly have won it.
In the smaller surf the Australians form and equipment completely overshadowed everyone else.
Most of the Americans were riding crude equipment and their surfing lacked the freedom and involvement of the Australians.

So we waited for a new swell.
Everyone had his own opinion as to when it would come and how big it would be.
It came on the fifth day.
On the Thursday.
Through the night we heard the surf rising, and in the early dawn rose and looked out onto the biggest swell we had seen in five weeks.
A reprieve, for this was the final day allotted for the contest.

[Midget Farrelly, free surfing,
Rincon Puerto Rico, 1968.].

Page 27

But now a new element had entered the scene.
Big waves.
And for the first time the Australians realised that they could be beaten.
This was what the Hawaiians wanted and this day they would be strong.

The quarters started early at Domes and went according to plan.
The waves were big around eight feet, but smooth.

Wayne, on his round hot dog board, surfed well in his quarter final.
Nat came home ...
By the time the semis began the wind had swung onshore and the swell had risen.
Big lumpy waves.
Wayne was knocked out by a drop-in by (sic) Nuuhiwa.
Cabell broke his fin and was eliminated.

Into the final at Rincon went Hemmlngs, Farrelly, Hughes, Young, Doyle and Abelliro (sic).
And in that order they finished.

A surprise result for many perhaps.
Some say Farrelly should have won it, some say Young.
But on that day, in that surf, with those judges judging the way they did, Fred Hemmings won that contest.
And a happier Hawaiian you have  never seen.
As a conclusion I'd like to say that the best thing that ever happened to Australian surfing happened that day.
We'd grown too complacent, too used to Nat being World Champion.
Now Nat has been beaten.
Not only by Fred Hemmings but by Midget and Russell as well.
Now Nat's just another surfer again and the Hawaiians will enjoy the limelight for a while.
Which is good really, because that's where it all began so many years ago.

And what about Wayne ?
Our newest glamour hope; headed for the top.
Knocked out in the quarter finals.
Well I'm really glad that Wayne didn't win and have to face the awesome responsibilities of being Champion of the World.
He's gone back to Lorne again.
Wiser, older.
Back to his town and his life.
To wait for South Africa, where the next world contest will be held in June/July 1970.
And where it is all going to happen all over again.

Page 44
At the time of writing this story it's mid December & I know that I've got to think well ahead, because this magazine is not going to be released until March.

I have just got back to Sydney after a four month trip around the world with Wayne Lynch. Nat Young & Ted Spencer.
If you are interested, we travelled through many, many different countries.
We surfed & filmed in France, Morocco. Portugal, Puerto Rico & Hawaii.

I could write pages on the trip; on how we got La Barre perfect again, eight to ten feet & HOLLOW; on the day Nat & I had to ourselves at Hossegor, about ten miles North of Biarritz, with perfect, perfect six foot rights tubing off.
The film looks like The Ranch at its best.
Or on travelling down to Morocco & Portugal; in both countries we found really good surf & absolutely no surfers.
Morocco was unbelievable & was one part of our trip that none of us will ever forget.
The place has got pretty close to total freedom & great surf into the bargain.
Or the World Contest in Puerto Rico.
Where we expected Nat or Wayne to win, but when Fred Hemmings won everyone was happy anyway.
Puerto Rico was really weird It's an island in the Caribbean where tropical diseases run wild, where the water is filled with poisonous coral & sea urchins & where the head of the Mafia drives around San Juan in a bullet proof car with a motorcycle escort.
We were there about six weeks & sometimes wondered if we were going to get out alive.
The waves are really good though & the water temperature is probably about ten degrees hotter than Hawaii.
It's so hot that it takes a few days to get acclimatised.
The best time for surf starts around Christmas.

We stopped in Hawaii for a few weeks on the way home; surfed all the places - Sunset, Pipeline, Haliewa.
Then cut short our stay in the Islands to get home for Christmas- We'd got sick of travelling, sick of crowds & scenes & wanted to come back to Australia
Because here is where it's all got to happen.
Where there are lots of good waves for everyone; where anytime you want to get away to good surf and no crowds, all you've got to do is drive a few hundred miles up the coast, or down the coast, or along the coast.
What I really want to tell you is that you've got to come along to see the new film.
Because we've been working on it for a long time now & it's going to be called EVOLUTION.
It's taking a very long time to make because it's got to be great.
We've got to show everyone what is really happening to surfing NOW.
This EVOLUTION which is bringing radical changes in boards & radical changes in the way waves are being ridden.

Spearheading this forward movement are surfers like Wayne & Nat & Ted.
And Bob McTavish & Joey Cabell & David Nuhiwa & Reno Abelira & Skip Fry & Midget & Russell Hughes & Mike Doyle & Fred Hemmings.
All of whom are in the film.
It should be finished by Easter & it should be good because we're giving it everything we've got.
We've got to film more in Australia this Summer then, with luck, it will be released in Australia & California before the middle of the year.
Page 45
Wayne Lynch.

Wayne Lynch.

Wayne Lynch.
So come along & see what's really going on.
Because this evolution involves you.
We've hardly scratched the surface of real surfing.
Hardly started to achieve the freedom to ride a wave the way our minds desire.
So we've all got to get behind this new movement; we've all got to get together & keep it going.
Support the Evolution!

Surf International
Volume 2, Number 1, pages 18 to 22, 
March 1969?

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Geoff Cater (2011-2020) : Paul Witzig : 1968 World Contest and Evolution, 1969.