Source Documents
drouyn : man-on-man contests, 1977. 

Peter Drouyn : Man-on-Man Contests, 1977.
Peter Drouyn's New Rules for Surfing.
Interview by Phil Jarratt, Photographs by Martin Tullemans.
Number 79, April 1977, pages 18-19.
Best of Tracks
  1978, page 4.

This interview with Subbies contest director Peter Drouyn was conducted by in April 1977 by Tracks editor Phil Jarratt and published that month, later reprinted by editor Paul Holmes in Best of Tracks,1978.
In his introduction Holmes notes that
although Drouyn attempted to dispense with the drop-in rule, making surfing a contact sport, the rule was dropped from the Stubbies format in subsequent years.

The most radical, and long-lasting, change in competitive surfing was limiting each event to just two surfers, making the result clearer for the judges and more interesting for the spectators.
Previously, events had been usually contested by four to eight surfers, potentialy confusing for the officials and the public, however in the 1966 Makaha International the heats were crowded with as many as 23 contestants.
If the surf was consistent, the waves large or the rides long, then having only two competitors in the water meant that many waves went un-ridden and the system was not adopted in the quality waves of Hawaii.
In the 21st century, contest organisers provided motorised jet-skis to ferry competitors back to the take-off zone.

The man-on-man format had been suggested over a decade earlier by Tom Morey, later famous as the creator of the Morey Boogie board.
Morey had recently had some success in California with his timed Nose-riding Contest and in an article in Surfer in 1966
, as then the serving President of the USSA, suggested a system of "paired eliminations" where it is easy for judges to pick a winner when two excellent surfers are matched against each other in one heat.
It is unknown if Drouyn ever read or was aware of Morey's article, but it appears that the format was used at some contests on the East coast of the USA. (according to Randy Rarick???)

Paired heats
were instituted the first Stubbies Contest at  Burleigh Heads in
1977, then described as Peter Drouyn’s Man-on-Man system.
The format was widely adopted following its initial success, including women's events, becoming the standard system for most professional contests .

By 1908, Outrigger Canoe Club contest officials were aware that interference was  as a potential problem, specifying a double penalty: the man knocked off gets credit and the man that fouls another is discredited.
With advances in board design and performance, by the end of the 1960s, most contest rules incorporated a drop-in rule enforcing a one surfer-one wave principle.
The issue first came to prominence in the final of the first World Championships held at Many Beach, Australia, in 1964 where head judge Phil Edwards reportedly demoted Joey Cabell to third place, behind local Midget Farrelly and California's Mike Doyle, for unsportsmanlike conduct.
In 1965, the Hawaiian Surfing Association contest rules disqualified a competitor for shoulder hopping in front of another rider if clear interference.

In his review of the Stubbies Contest in the following edition, Paul Holmes noted that in practice cheating was only witnessed in 3 of the total 32 heats which constituted the contest.
Most surfers found that when there's only two guys out at Burleigh there's no need to drop in on your opponent — if anything it's better to be paddling out while he's surfing so that you can see how-hot his wave is!
Not only was Drouyn's concept of physical contact between competitors withdrawn from future events, but it was virtually eliminated with the the introduction (in 198?) of the priority buoy, giving (mostly) unfettered wave choice to the first rider to paddle around it.

serving as the first Stubbies contest director, Peter Drouyn was replaced by Bill Bolman.
The photographs of Drouyn and of him and Paul Neilsen demonstrating effective cheating at Burleigh Point were shot by Martin Tullemans.
Drouyn's suggestion that California's Micki Dora
could surf well under this system, is not without merit.
The article's title puns
on the expression Don't worry, be happy used by the Indian mystic Meher Baba, often printed on inspirational cards and posters during the 1960s.
Inspired by Meher Baba, American musician Bobby McFerrin released Don't Worry, Be Happy in September 1988, a worldwide hit it was the first a cappella song to reach number one on the US Billboard chart.

Paul Holmes (Editor): Introduction to the Interviews
Best of Tracks, page 4.

Peter Drouyn was interviewed in April 1977 at a time when this top competitor in his own right had opted to stay on the beach and be contest director for the first Stubbies event held that year at his local break of Burleigh Heads.
Drouyn  has been a well known personality in Australian surfing for the better part of ten years and his flamboyant presence has created high spirits at more than a few contests over the years.
Drouyn's extreme nature led him into flirtations with acting as a career and his feeling for drama was not doubt the basis of the new format he dreamed up for the Stubbies.

The man-on-man format he introduced for that event has stood the test of time and is now used at most world class pro contests.
In  the first Stubbies, however Drouyn dispensed with the drop-in rule and introduced surfing as contact sport with his "effective and ineffective cheating" clause which allowed surfers to try to obstruct each others'  rides during their heats.
Drouyn described  the format  (which despite success was dropped from the Stubbies format in subsequent years) to TRACKS then editor Phil Jarratt.

Tracks, Number 79, April 1977, pages 18-19.

Peter Drouyn's
New Rules of Surfing

Don't Worry, Be Heavy.


Is the spectacle of a man riding a wave exciting enough to hit the front pages of newspapers all over the world?
To capture prime television news time?
To attract big crowds to the beach and suck in the sponsors' dollars?
Peter Drouyn doesn't think it is.
The system he has devised for the Stubbies Classic is based on a radical new concept — surfing as contact sport.
As we go to press 44 of the best surfers in the world are putting that concept to the test and we'll have the full story next issue.

A few days before the Classic began an excited Drouyn took time out from last-minute organising to talk to me about what he sees as a new direction for competitive surfing. Drouyn, of course, is an extremist.
He always has been and that's what makes him one of the most entertaining people in surfing.
His vision of competitive surfing is an extreme one — a gladiatorial battle between macho surf heroes who are as exciting out of the water as in it.
It's the sort of surfing most of us have seen or been a part of on a crowded Sunday at Narrabeen, Burleigh, Bells or Sunset.
Whether Drouyn can capture that sort of intensity in a contest situation remains to be seen, but I have to admit that it will be a refreshing change to hear the surfers bitching about a fat lip rather than an unscored cutback.

The morning after this interview was taped Drouyn and Paul Neilsen demonstrated the most controversial rules of the contest at Burleigh.
They took off on the same waves and attempted to force each other out of the point scoring pocket position.
In Drouyn's terminology this is "effective" or "ineffective" cheating.
Only Peter Drouyn could have come up with a ruling like that, but judging from the hoots of other surfers watching the display, it was entertaining surfing.
In the extreme.

How long have you been working on this contest?
Twelve months.

Is it the way you originally envisaged it?
It's based on 15 years of looking at and competing in surfing contests.
I've never really felt right about the way the winner has been chosen and this was my chance to put it all together.
It's taken 12 months to do it.

Does the format represent your surfing contest ideal?
Given the right day, yeah.
I don't think it matters so much about the waves as long as we get a good public turnup.
If it's a nice, sunny day and we've got waves that can be performed on it'll be a good contest.
Damn good.

What sort of surfing do you think the rules will promote?
I think we'll see really tense, high-pressure surfing.
We're gonna see guys trying to make it through to the next round any way they can.

Which brings us to effective and ineffective cheating.
Can you explain how that works?
Say a guy is screaming across the face of a wave.
Another guy drops in, accelerates and drops down behind the guy who's already on the wave and takes the inside running.
He has effectively cheated and picks up 0.5 points.
The guy who is now on the outside realises his opponent has made it in behind him and picked up bonus points.
If he thinks there's not many points separating them he's gonna try to cut back on top of the guy and turn around him.
If he makes it without screwing the other guy, up, he'll pick up bonus points too, and neutralise the other  guy's points.

Give me the classic example of this happening.
I'm barrelling across a wave and I know this wave is a good one and I can really express my ability and impress the judges and spectators.
I'm right inside and I'm just making it.
Suddenly Col Smith realises that Drouyn's on a good thing and could leave him behind.
He drops in, hovers over my head and slips down behind me in the most critical position.
I'm going, "stuff it, Smith's got in behind me".
Smith picks up 0.5 on each judge's sheet and I can't handle that.
I'm gonna pick a peak and slip back in behind him without him even knowing it.
If he tries to stop me that's bad luck because I'll be cheating ineffectively if I hit him dangerously.
But if he tries to stop me a dangerous way then he's cheating ineffectively.
It's tit for tat and the judges have to discern what's happening.

These are radical rules that have never been tried before and yet some of your judges have amateur event background where sportsmanship is all-important.
Do you think they're going to be able to adapt to this system?
I know that this is a pretty far-out trip I'm on.
I'm probably thinking about five years in advance and I know it's going to be hard for these judges to get onto it.
But I'm the sort of guy who can put enough pressure on the judges to make them forget their backgrounds and their little nothing seagull trips and lift them to a point where they become really top, responsible people who are influencing the future of surfing.

The Surfabout judges study the rules and discuss them for months before the contest.
Your judges won't have the time to do that.

Well, when you talk about the Coke system — the pinball system — I don't think that system's hard to surf to or to judge.
Sure, my judges won't have much time to study it but they won't need to.
It's just surfing in two categories — physical and creative.
The cheating rule is the most important
for them to understand because that rule will give the contest character.

It reminds me of a memorable wave you and Nat caught in the Coke contest a couple of years ago.
It was a spectacular wave and a spectacular exhibition of gamesmanship.
Is that the sort of thing you've got in mind?

I think the frustration you saw on that wave is the kind of thing Nat and I are trying to get across.
A bit of bloody flair.
We're sick and
tired of getting out there year after year and trying to impress a small group of people to win a contest.
We want something concrete, some physical and mental contact where we can vibrate off each other.
Like in boxing, we want to be able to touch the other guy.
Let him look at me and say, "well fuck you", or "I love you"
or "let's fight it out to the end".
Let's have some contact going.
That's what Nat and I did and maybe we didn't understand what we were doing but it was an expression of how we want contests to be.

You want the surfers in this contest to be human.
Yeah, exactly.
Until we have some sort of contact in surfing contests it's
going to be the same thing year after year.
It's stagnated even though the prize money is bigger these days.
Sponsors don't really see the value in surfing contests.
They just see the value in selling their goods to young people.
Tennis sponsors like tennis.
In surfing the sponsors think surfing contests are ridiculous, they don't understand.
A guy can actually whip a guy off the wave, beat him up, come onto the beach and have a fight if you like.
That's okay.
We won't give any bonus points for it, but the important thing is that they can beat each other up.
This is the sort of contact that can be done along rhythmic lines.

Like Ali dancing round his opponent for the entire first round or Arthur Ashe throwing his racquet over net.
Ali might dance around the ring for the first two minutes but there must eventually be physical contact for a win.
There's got to be a blow thrown.
Now if they wanted to those boxers could dance for 15 rounds without throwing a punch and gonna win?

But surely you're not suggesting surfing is a real contact sport?
Phil, it can be.
I feel it's the only way surfing is going to reach into big money in competition.
Contact, both physically and mentally like boxing.
A blow must be thrown.
Surfing's the same.
I mean I could dance around a ring showing my style and my aggression and what's the judge going say?
Oh, he's got a lot of style.
He would have done well if there's a fight.
There must be contact in surfing.

You've discussed this with a lot of pro surfers around the world over past few months.
What do they think of it?
Let it be known that every surfer I've talked to has been for it, simply because there's no other way to turn.
They realise there's gotta be a radical change and the time is right for it.

They've all expressed this to you?
I'm sure they have, in many erent ways.
In silent ways, in loud ways, in overtones and undertones.

Do you expect much out-of-the-water aggro or psyching out?
A lot of surfers won't want to come into contact so they be trying to psyche the other guy out to avoid it.
You might get a situation where Col Smith will be Joe Frazier.
He'll want to rip and tear and cheat as much as possible to win.
Midget, on the other hand, might dance.
He'd be Ali and he'll want to avoid contact, to win his way.
I'm sure Midget'll dance.

Which surfers will benefit most from this system?
I don't think there's any particular surfer who'll benefit more than the rest.
The ability will be brought out in all surfers, the ability to think and outsmart.
That might sound like it's for university students but it's not.
It's the board under your feet that's your brain.
It's all part of talent and ability.

But there must be some surfers who function better in crowds than others and who'll be ready for contact.
The underdogs, the people who aren't written up in magazines and featured in the movies.
The people who have been thrown out of game because they have that ability to outsmart.

Who? Name names.
I reckon a guy like Bob McTavish could surf well under this system.
Russell Hughes or Ben Aipa.
Dora maybe.
Of the current stars maybe Terry Richardson, Nat, Midget.
There are a lot of young surfers around who are being wiped out because of their flair.

Were you pleased when the Bells organisers decided to adopt your system in part?
Absolutely stoked.

Do you think other contests will follow suit?
I really hope so.
I'm not in it for my own piece of the action.
I'd rather turn into obscurity.
I'm doing it for surfing.
I'm doing it for a lot of good surfers that even you don't know about.
I'm doing it for the public.
I'm doing it for the good people in surfing who want to buy houses and blocks of land and get into businesses and get knocked back by governments and police because they've got board racks on top of the car.
My aim stretches so far for the good of young people generally and surfers in particular that there's not enough time for Peter Drouyn.

What will you do if the system fails?
In the past I've tended to be over-optimistic about things and I've been let down something bloody shocking.
I'm taking a neutral approach with this contest; if it doesn't work Drouyn bows out for another year, but hell be back.
You'll hear from me again.

- Phil Jarratt
Page 19

1. First you drop in on your opponent ...

2. ... then you cut right around him ...

3. ... and turn hard on his heels ....

4. ... back at the top with this much to spare ..

5.  ... and you're in front of him again ..

6. ... and you've psyched him out, you've effectively cheated.

Phil Jarratt: Sponsor Axes Drouyn, November 1977.
Best of Tracks, page 83.

1977 Stubbies Classic director Peter Drouyn has been sacked by the Edward Fletcher Company, sponsors of the contest.

A company spokesman told Tracks: "We haven't seen him since the presentation night last March.
He's been racing around the world competing, and you can't do that and organise a successful contest at the same time."
Although Drouyn's conflicting roles as competitor and contest director are undoubtedly the main reasons for his replacement, it is understood that the Stubbies management was less than impressed by the last-minute organisational work its own people had to do to ensure the smooth running of the contest.

But, rough edges aside, Peter Drouyn's adaptation of the man-on-man contest system and the energy he put into making it work did more to put the Stubbies Contest on the map than the sponsor's money and even a week of good waves at Burleigh.
Without Drouyn's inspiration it would have been simply another surfing contest.
Instead, it revolutionised professional surfing to such an extent that Drouyn couldn't resist being drawn back into it.
Since the Stubbies he has competed in every IPS-sanctioned meet and a series of high placings have rocketed him into fourth place in the ratings.
Drouyn is expected to take part in Stubbies 78 as a competitor.

Queensland amateur official (and this year's beach marshall) Bill Bolman has been appoint contest director for 1978.
Bolman, 30 and a 16-year surfing veteran, is the secretary of the ASA and contest director for the QSA.
His official presence has been felt at the last four National Titles, but undoubtedly he made his biggest hit with a lively exhibition of authoritarianism at Stubbies '77 - a tough customer with a megaphone and enough chest hair to be convincing.
Bolman leaves for Hawaii and California on November 4 on a fact-finding mission before the invitations go out, but already he has decided there will be a heavier accent on young competitors next time.

"I'll be passing over guys like Young and Farrelly to give the younger kids a chance," he told Tracks.
"The invitations will be based on current performances rather than reputation, and young guys like Chris Byrne and Joe Engel have done more in the past year than a lot of the established surfers."
Bolman has compiled a list of over 200 currently competitive surfers from which he'll select an expanded field of 54 starters.
Bolman isn't planning any significant changes in the Drouyn two-man system, although he has increased the international judging panel fro five to seven and the cheating rule may be scratched.
Doug Warbrick, Graham Cassidy, Hawaii's Randy Rarick and South Africa's Peter Burness have already been signed as judges and Californian and Brazilian officials are expected to be added to the list.

Meanwhile, total prize money has been increased by almost $4000 with the addition of a women's section for 16 invitees.
The Gold Coast businessmen to get in on the act and stall space at Burleigh Heads Park is already heavily booked.
Former Stubbies executive Brian Calvert, now a Gold Coast tourism director, is believed to be working at a total community involvement in the contest.
In other Stubbies developments the sponsors have agreed, following discussions with APSA officials, to bring the contest forward a week to March 5-11.
The original dates clashed with the Quiksilver Trials.
And last but not least. Bill Bolman has secured the services of Frankie ("Have You Ever Been To See Kings Cross?") Davidson for the gala presentation night function.
- Phil Jarratt

Poster Centrefold: Crystal Cylinders

Crystal Cylinders Tote Bag
Image forwarded by Chris, November 2014.


EXTRA:    Tracks
Number 80, March 1977, page 27.
                                                                            Tracks - Summer City Win a Vintage Shooter Contest
All over the country surfers are starting to realise that at 21 years of age, modern Australian surfing is old enough to have a history.
Surfboards have gone through a lot of changes in those 21 years and in the rush to develop new design many classic boards of yesteryear have been left to rot under houses and in musty garages.
But in recent months more and more surfers have been seeking out the 'mals' of the fifties and sixties and starting their own surfboard museums.
The more colourful the history of the board the better it's going to look in your museum — and the more money it's going to be worth as early planks become collector's items. You'd be surprised how few good condition early shooters are around now.
Some manufacturers have even started building replicas, but there's no mal like an old mal.
Martin Tullemans put together this words and pictures report on some of the more colourful vintage sticks around, and below Tracks and Phil Avalon (Producer of the new film "Summer City") give you the chance to start your own surfboard museum.

This 11'7" gun was shaped by Barry Bennett in 1961 for big wave rider Dave Jackman.
Jackman later made a sensation on the board by riding Queenscliff Bombora for the first time at 20 feet.
It sports four redwood stringers and a balsa centre strip, plus redwood rails.

This is my own 9'6" Cord double-ender, acquired five years ago when Harpo took over Kevin Platt Surfboards at Noosa.
It was shaped by Kevin Platt in 1965 and I paid Harpo the princely sum of 25 cents, a can of Coke and a packet of Marlboro for it.
It's 23" wide with a rolled bottom and it goes great on small, fast peelers.

This is Wally Wipeout's twelve foot balsa big gun, shaped by Scott Dillon in 1962.
Wally, 37 of Narrabeen, bought it that year to take to Hawaii where he cracked Waimea at 25 feet and several big days at Sunset.
The board weighs 42 lbs and sports two redwood stringers and a three-stringered tail block.
Wally hasn't ridden it in ten years but he says he wouldn't part with it.

Effective cheating by Micki Dora,
Malibu 1969.

Number 79
April, 1977.

Best of Tracks
  Number 3?


Geoff Cater (2019) : Peter Drouyn : Man-on-Man Contests, 1977.