I am now in my early fifties but another unforgettable surfing story I would like to share with you happened way back in 1981. My mate had an old blue FC Holden. His older brothers owned it before him. The exhaust would heat up the carpet on the floor in the back of the car and smoke would come up from it.
We had decided to go to Bells Beach for the 1981 Easter Surfing competition. What a decision that turned out to be! I'll never forget seeing the swell for the first time when coming around the bend at Bells on the Saturday. It looked huge! We had never seen anything like it before and watched in awe as Nat Young surfed WinkiPop by him self that morning.
It was the year Simon Anderson won it on a 3 fin thruster surfboard. It was the first time we had ever seen a 3 fin surfboard after mostly riding only single fin surfboards.
The ocean was alive and every now and then these huge15 feet plus sets would come through. The swell was still coming up and would peak later that day.
We went into Torquay to get an early lunch and picked up a couple of girls who were hitchhiking on the way back. The girl who sat in the back seat was wondering what she had got herself into. She was very glad to get out of the old FC especially when smoke started coming up off the floor of the car at her feet!
Back to Bells and it was pumping. Simon Anderson was surfing fantastic on his thruster. We were all inspired. That night after an amazing days competition a couple of us paddled out. We finally made it out the back after getting slammed for ages in the Bells shore break. There were only pros in the water. I don't think they could believe their eyes when they saw these very serious young blokes out there paddling around. "Don't worry we'll be all right" we bravely told them while secretly being as scared as we had ever been and not taking our eyes off the horizon watching nervously for the next set of waves.
When back at camp after such a memorable day I remember it being a great night.