Source Documents
john witzig : new era, 1966. 

John Witzig : An End to an Era - A New Era, 1966.
1966 Australian Titles
Nat Young - Bob McTavish : A New Era
John Witzig : An End to an Era?
John Witzig : George Greenough.
Surfing World
Volume 8 Number 1, July 1966.

The magazine begins with coverage of the 1966 Australian Championships, held at Coolangatta on Queensland's Gold Coast in June, by John Pennings, Lester Brien, and editor Bob Evans.
One photograph is reproduced, but no text.

the text of the extended dialogue between Nat Young and Bob McTavish, pages 23 to 32, has not been transcribed, although there are some classic photographs of Nat and McTavish.

Two important articles by John Witzig
, accredited here as Art Director but soon to be editor, are fully transcribed (with some minor flaws).
In addition, Witzig probably prepared and edited the New Era dialogue between Nat and McTavish noted above.
The first article is headed  An  End to an Era?, titled A New Era in the table of contents, and A New Era for Surfing in Australia? on the cover.

This article generated considerable controversy and, needless to say, was not received well by Midget Farrelly.
Following Nat Young's victory in the recent Australian Championships, beating Midget once, Witzig is
To suggest that everything is now changed is a flight of fantasy.

 of  this edition is richly enhanced with two important articles and several photographs John Witzig.
Also see:

Page 7

Page 10
1966 Australian Championships
John Pennings - Lester Brien - Bob Evans
Part one - Bob Evans.

1st Nat Young, 2nd Bob McTavish, 3rd Russell Hughes, 4th Midget Farrelly, 5th Robert Conneely, and 6th Bobby Brown
(Results courtesy of Andrew McKinnon, October 2010).

Junior - Peter Drouyn
Women - Gail Couper
Page 11
 Bruce Channon - Junior Finalist.

Page 23
Nat Young - Bob McTavish : A New Era
Page 25

Bob McTavish (Headless)

Page 27

Page 26

Nat Young:
"We've been (emphasising?) the power of the cutback and placing yourself deeper in the curl."

Nat Young: "When you want stall, you just put your foot on the inside rail."

Bob McTavish: "You're riding so tight and (??)."

Page 30?

Peter Drouyn

Page 31?

Bob McTavish

Page 36

(Makaha Trophy, 1962.)
Page 37
An End to an Era?
By John Witzig
If a 'new era' has begun for surfing, what has passed?
Is this 'new era' merely a development in he evolution of the sport, a change from yesterday that will itself be changed tomorrow?
Is it's importance being greatly exaggerated by those who feel they are part of it.
These questions will be answered by time and little else.
When we look back will be wise and say we knew.
But I think that now, 1966 seen the conclusion of a definite period in the surfing history of Australia..
The absolute domination of the surfing scene by Bernard Farrelly has ended.
This is not to say that he will not present a threat in contests for years to come.
He will (???) that this first first period of modern surfing in Australia is drawing to a close and no other person has so much advanced progress during this time than Farrelly.
Midget has meant 'surfing' to the majority of of Australians.
He has achieved a national hero image a little unwillingly -
Once Makaha International Champion, once World Champion, twice Australian Champion, it is doubtful that he will really be (??) to (gain?) on what he has held.
Midget has been the (??) champion, concerned with principles rather than explanations.
He was most importantly the first , he established standards that others will follow or perhaps choose not to.
In later years has has preferred isolation and self imposed exile from the hectic world of competition.

What has Midget Farrelly stood for?
On a surfboard for grace and poise.
A surfer constantly searching for perfection within the restrictions that he has himself set.
And if he may be criticised it must be that has has pushed his style of surfing to the limit it may be taken.
A constantly smooth performer, Midget's aggression towards his surfing mellowed with experience and it is here perhaps that he has had to make way  for the onslaught of impetuous  youth who will seek to sweep all away before then.
This is how life has moved in our semi democratic state and  I think that this is how it must be.
How quickly everyone forgets, and the value of Midgets participation in the surfing scene should not be quickly dismissed.
On the administrative side, Midget has been primarily responsible for the initial impetus that formed the A.S.A.
I know that Midget wishes that such an organisation as the A.S.A. were not necessary and I imagine that he many times (??) very earnestly at the child he had a part in bearing.
Yet still he realises that some organisation is unavoidable and his own position must be to contribute all that he is able.

Page 38

The transition from the young surfer Bernard Farrelly to the person that we know today is striking.
An enigma to many in his early twenties, Midget has followed an unusual path from extroversion in his youth to a state of almost absolute and cynical introspection.
The first major win at Makaha was recognisable perhaps more than any other  for the beginning of this change.
Midget became aware of responsibilities and of pressure from outside sources and this undeniably caused a retreat from his outgoing nature.
Craig McGregor has called Midget 'shockingly (?) mature.'
I will add 'cynically,' and hope that the years will mellow the Farrelly that they have created.

Apart from Midget, and it becomes more and more clear that he is the principal character in the years that I speak of, a number of surfers accompanied Midget on a contemporary path in surfing.
Nipper Williams, Mick Dooley and Lester Brien are three who are still active.
Many more are not.
'Sugar' Robinson and Andy Cochrane are names that have drifted from the surfing scene.
Midget alone of these surfers showed the dedication and sheer ability that was necessary to make the top.
His was a personal domination that will in all probability never be repeated.

I think back a little earlier in the era of modern surfing as we recognise it and remember those who witnessed and took part in the earliest movement to the short board.
Bluey Mayes and Bob Evans are still recognised today as surfers rather than as any other species.
Both rode long boards and survived successfully the transition.
On the competition scene, neither choose to take part - they have seen the two periods of surfing in Australia pass and now they feel a new resurgence trying to find its feet, though none too gingerly.
It has a parallel in the development of any comparative sport or form of expression.
It is the continual process of youth pushing at those who are established, the champions.

An era has ended for Midget Farrelly.
A new one has started for him.
Free of much of the pressure of involvement, I see Midget revelling in his new position.
He is almost an underdog if he could ever adequately fill this position.

Now I think that the whole of this 'new era' thing becomes clear to me.
We have a new Australian Champion.
He is younger and he is fighting for his professional position.
He has beaten Midget once.
To suggest that everything is now changed is a flight of fantasy.
To suggest that suddenly now surfing has taken giant steps forward simply will not stand up.
Nat ...

Page 39

Page 40

Midget -

An early contest.

1963- with Nat and Dooley

Page 41
(Nat) and McTavish feel that their type of surfing shows more aggression and involvement and they find this desirable.
They base this surfing on sensitive and highly technical surfboards.
The introduction of technical knowledge into surfboards and their riding is probably overdue.
I say 'probably' because I am sure that the influence of technical aspects has not been ignored by others to this time.
It has not been spoken of so much, and I think that new progress must follow in a similar manner to hydrodynamics.
There is nothing but good that can come out of technical development.
I agree with such progress.
I wholeheartedly support it.
But I must relate it to surfing as a whole.
The 'new era' movement appears to be a little out of perspective to the whole scene.
Bernard Farrelly is 21 years old, one year younger than McTavish.
He is not finished, or superseded like last year's model.
The fact is that he has now been joined by surfers who are able to challenge his supremacy.
Midget feels that he can win again, I'm sure of it.

Bob Dylan in a song says 'I was much older then, I'm much younger now.'
Much the same may be said of Bernard Farrelly.

Midget - "Grace and Poise" (Palm Beach)

Page 42

George Greenough

Page 43

WHO is Greenough?
An American suffer in his early twenties who is on his second trip to Australia.
He is a professional lobster fisher-man in California.
He surfs the Point Conception area and the off-shore islands.
He uses a highly technically advanced belly board.
Why is Greenough exerting so much influence upon the Australian surfers with whom he comes in contact?
The technical advancement that he shows in his boards he carries into his surfing and rides further back into the curl, in a more critical and involved  part  of the wave than any surfer on a surfboard as we know it.
Where is Greenough?
North of Brisbane in the Noosa-Caloundra area.
He stays in the district because he finds the wave conditions in which he may push his equipment and his knowledge and feeling for surf to its absolute extreme.
What is Greenough?
A fine surfer.
Something of an eccentric.
A practical, talented person who builds advanced waterproof camera cases, fire places, and Iri-pods.
Above all, he is an interesting and intensely liable surfer.
George Greenough:

(Point Cartwright)

Surfing World
Volume 8 Number 1, July 1966.

Nat Young, George Greenough;
Point Cartwright.


Geoff Cater (2020) : John Witzig : New Era, 1966.