john witzig : byron bay, 1963.
|This is how the
contest ended- not with a bang but a whimper.
Yes, Rolf won.
At least all the judges and spectators and competitors had him first.
The farmers at Johanna were so stoked they missed milking time.
But Rolf was the true only bang of the some two-week event.
Everything else seemed to sigh along at a languishing pace.
Mother Ocean, as Nat pointed out, was in control of the whole scene.
She would decide where and when the ting would be held.
And she was pouting.
The first weekend of the contest crowds stormed the cliffs at Bells Beach at 60 cents a head.
They stood in the rain under umbrellas.
Sometimes there was sun.
It was announced that all competitors would participate in the trick riding contest or suffer the severest penalty (poor Eduardo).
Dale Dobson and a few others co-operated but most contestants went off to Winkie Pop down the way to do their own thing.
That sort of started the whole business.
Even though the stage was set earlier when the American team went on strike because Corky had been suspended.
They hadn't marched in the opening parade.
Just Dale again, and Del Canon, Joyce and Jeri Poplar.
Somehow in those first few days the prelims were held.
The first day the| judging wasn't the best.
The Hawaiian, Australian, English and Peruvian judges showed real weakness.
Even the charts showed it.
|The weather was
It looked more like a ski contest at Innsbruck.
Martha Sunn was dressed in black from finger tips to tippy toe yet she emerged from the 40 degree water the colour of a sea urchin.
Then there was the dope trouble.
They found some hash "about the size" of a little fingernail in one of the contestants rooms.
The big joke was that everyone knew positively that this surfer never touched it.
But the newspapers played that up.
They had to write about something I guess.
Nothing was happening in the water.
The Aussie press has to be read to be disbelieved.
It's incredible and speaks poorly for the Australian if that's the garbage he reads.
They make all our papers look like the Christian Science Monitor.
That night back at the Lorne and Pacific hotels we waxed eloquent about the day's cornucopiae.
Everyone who had gone shopping, played table tennis or written post cards listened.
The dining room, presided over by Mrs Beaurepair, was alive with hope.
Tony Olson smiled once.
Sid ordered an extra bottle of wine for our table.
Then everyone went to bed and prayed.
There's not much else to do in Lorne.
Thursday morning was warm and friendly.
The swell had picked up and the officials were for once chatting with the contestants.
It was decided to drive to Johanna.
When I arrived Wayne Lynch was out at the left.
He was surfing almost for the first time - since I had seen him in 1967 - like he was supposed to.
Only he wasn't in the contest.
The officials had worked some kind of deal where they had two contests - one for winners and one for losers.
Now we had the finalists who had survived whatever had been thrown at them.
Randy Rarick set himself up for every tube in the contest area.
Corky got the biggest wave.
| Page 21
|Pages 24-25: Centre Fold
Peter Drouyn ? Beach Fire
When Mike Purpus and Brad McCall were in Australia they realised that the boards they had brought with them were not entirely suitable for Australian conditions.
For new equipment they chose a manufacturer who could advise them as to the most suitable board for the varied conditions between Bells Beach and the hot soft waves of Queensland.
They chose Rip Curl because they knew then boards would be built to exact specifications.
The results were surfboards which suited their styles and the waves they were to ride.
Brian Singer and Doug Warbrick are Rip Curl- They did it for Mike and Brad, and they can do it for you too.
Rip Curl Surfboards 5 Boston Road Torquay
Note the sharp down rails in the rear section of Purpus' yellow surfboard.
While McCalll's green board appears to have a leg-rope twisted around the fin, this is highly improbable.
Hawaiian surfers Anella Sunn, left, and her sister, Martha, are well prepared
for the cold as they head for the surf at Bell's Beach, Victoria.
The girls used the postponement of the titles yesterday as a chance to
practise on the small surf which was running on the beach.
Souvenir Programme Australia, 1970
Captain Cook Bi-Centenary
Fifth World Surfboard Riding Championships
Bells Beach, Victoria.
The Canberra Times 4 May 1970, page 14.
Volume 3 Number 1.
Cover: Rolf Arness