Source Documents
bob evans : the bombora, 1963. 

Bob Evans : The Bombora, 1963.
Bob Evans: The Bombora
Surfing World
Volume 2 Number 6, August, 1963.

Bob Evans' history of those who rode the Queenscliff Bombora following the publicity generated by Dave Jackman's successful ride in June 6,1961.
Noted big wave riders Dave Passenger and Les Patterson later formed Dale Surfboards.

In 1963, Dave Jackman noted:
Newspaper reports made me appear as the first surfer to ride that Queenscliff Bombora.
I made no such claim.
Claude West, to name only one, had cracked it before I was born.
I used the short board, which made it easier for me.
The difference was that I paddled my board out, while Claude says he made his approach from a surfboat.
- page 100.
- Dave Jackman: Great Beaches, a chapter in Jack Pollard's The Australian Surfrider (1963).

Also see:
Kerry Yates: Down the MineThe Australian Women's Weekly, Wednesday 20 September 1961, page S4 (Supplement- Teenagers' Weekly).
Dillon, Scott: Bombora,
Surfabout Quarterly, Volume 1 Number 1, August 1962, page 23.

page 3 advertisement for Keyo Surfboards states that their boards are carefully shaped by the current Makaha champion, 'Midget' Farrelly.
This edition also includes
The Mysterious North, a three page article with story and photos by Hayden Kenny and featuring Tee Tree (sic) Bay at Noosa.
Hayden Kenny
first surfed the points at Noosa Heads in July 1957 and was the proprietor of Hayden Surfboards at Alexander Headlands
This is followed by Bob Evans' article on Catherine Hill Bay with photographs by Alby Falzon.

For other extracts from this edition, see Bob Evans: Burleigh Heads-1948 and The Stomp.

Page 6
The Bombora
Story and Photos by BOB EVANS

About two years ago a steamer of considerable size ran aground just a mile or so off Manly beach and added to a surf hazard already respected and known as The Bombora.
Nearly every surfer and swimmer in the Manly Warringah area knows that the reef exists and every time a big swell rises the Bombora turns on such displays of marine violence that thousands of eyes are awesomely reminded of its presence by the thunder of its immense and savage pounding.

Skin divers have ranged over every foot of the reef and describe it as a series of giant step-like shelves scattered with huge boulders, and guarded by king-sized blue groper who sullenly size-up their unwelcome visitors.
To surfers everywhere, The Bombora has always represented an ultimate challenge which fortunately the majority prefer to ignore.

Its great danger lies in the power of its twisting curl and the vicious backlash off the bottom produces tremendous vortex currents during big seas, with resultant sickening wipe-outs and long hold-downs.

A shifting take-off area, a rebounding 30-foot break and a
fierce display of marine power are but some of
 the aspects of The Bombie.
Once again the shifting take-off area also sets a problem and like Sunset Beach in Hawaii it tends to frighten-off many potential customers.
The outside edge of the reef appears to be about H miles off Queenscliff Beach but depending upon swell direction the break can shift until directly off North Steyne at which time it seems to be in its most easily rideable position.

In really huge conditions and at low tide a 30-foot break has been seen to drop over, push right down to the bottom and completely rebound out through the back of its own swell.
This completely breaks down the concept that you could never hit bottom at The Bombie.
Actually The Bombie is only about 20 feet deep at the shallowest point and during the gigantic sucking action of great groundswells reef-kelp has been seen to swirl through the white

Page 7

water as the agitator action of huge waves building up have almost pulled all the water away from the reef.

Contrary to general knowledge The Bombora has been ridden many times, but to my knowledge it's been ridden only once when really huge and that was by surf ski riders Roy Laker, "Paddles" Dawson and Bill Hawkins.
It ended in near tragedy as Laker was lucky to escape drowning.

Surf boats from North Steyne, Queenscliff, Freshwater and Manly have all ridden big waves on The Bombie.
North Steyne's old "Bluebottle" with its famous crew skippered by the late "Rastus" Evans was the first.

Collaroy surfer Wally Wallace drops into one of the day's larger,
hoary-topped waves at the Manly Bombora.
Many years ago Claude West of the heavy solid board era was the first

Wally Wallace in full command as his board cuts into a Bombie heavy.

Undoubtedly practising for Hawaii's big surf
Scott Dillon is one of the most frequent visitors to the Bombie.

Page 8

(Many years ago Claude West of the heavy solid board era was) the first boardman to take off on a big shoulder and set a precedent.
In the mid-1940's Roger Duck of Manly rode a 15-footer successfully making the ride on a 14-foot hollow board.

About 1949-50 Lad Thompson, Bob Evans, Noel Ferry and George Simmer rode The Bombie on several occasions.

Dave Jackman's lone attempt during 1961 was the first on a balsa board, and since then McTavish, Dave Passenger, Les Patterson, Bob Pike, Scott Dillon, Midget Farrelly, Dave Jackman, Ian Wallis and several others have made various attempts with mixed success.

With more surfers owning gun-boards it is probable the assaults will be stepped up, but make no mistakes, for The Bombie capitalizes on weaknesses and if anyone has the temerity to try it when the giant swell off Frenchman's tries to bridge the mile-wide gap to The Bombora he should become quite famous — if he ever makes it.

First man to ride the Manly Bombie on a short board was
Dave Jackman in 1960.

Dave renews his acquaintance with the Bombie on this 12-footer.

The awesome beauty of the wind-swept Bombora is very evident as
Scottie Dillon carves a neat path down this 12-foot concave wall.

Page 3

The advertisement for Keyo Surfboards states that their boards are carefully shaped by the current Makaha champion, 'Midget' Farrelly.
The decal reproduced Midget's Makaha International Trophy.
Midget Farrelly and Makaha Trophy, January 1963.
Photograph : Ron Church

Page 12
The Mysterious North
Story and photos by Hayden Kenny

This is Tee Tree Bay, Noosa, yet another great Queensland surfing spot.
From the look of wave conditions here Tee Tree is ideal for boards.
Page 13

Keith Murphy slides right down this hol­low wave
at National Park Noosa.

Page 14
Catherine Hill Bay
Photographs by Alby Falzon

Ted Harvey cuts into this magnificent wall at Catherine Hill.

A moderate sou'west breeze and a gradually sloping sandbank gave Ted this fine left.

After years of pounding the old pier still stands firm

and helps stack the sand for good surfing.

Page 15

Surfing World

Volume 2 Number 6
August, 1963.

For other extracts from this edition, see:
Bob Evans: Burleigh Heads-1948 and The Stomp.


Geoff Cater (2019) : Bob Evans : The Queenscliff Bombora, 1963.