Posts in Local Colour

Morning of the Earth – LIVE at Manly

Posted on October 15th, 2009 in Advertorial, For the Diary, Just for fun, Local Colour, News Stories, Surf culture, Surf history, Surf News, Top stories.
Tickets at

Tickets at

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North Head Sanctuary, North Head Scenic Drive, Manly
Sunday November 8, 2009 – 4:30pm

A worldwide icon of surfing, this seminal 70s surfing movie, Morning of the Earth, which was originally premiered at Manly Silver Screen Theatre in 1972, is now to be reborn as a live music and film event at the iconic North Head Sanctuary as a sunset concert on the green.

Almost 40 years later, the film is still regarded as the holy grail of surf movies and soundtracks.  Created by Australian film maker, Albert Falzon, the film changed the way we relate to surfing showing that surfing was more than a sport — it was also an attitude to life.

The Morning of the Earth Live Concert event will bring to life the full-length film played as the backdrop to performances of the full soundtrack by original writers and performers Brian Cadd and Tim Gaze (Tamam Shud). They are joined on stage by Mike Rudd from Spectrum, brilliant Aussie newcomers Lior and Old Man River and a group of outstanding musicians. Together they create an atmosphere of the 70’s lived out in the sound and sight of today.
The event is a sunset concert on the green, to be held in the beautiful surrounds of North Head Sanctuary.  Set on a huge green field, amongst the old Royal School of Artillery at iconic North Head, bring your picnic blanket to soak up a beautiful summer sunset in this huge field, right on the edge of the ocean.  Food and drink for your picnic experience will be available on the site.  Organisers have also made available a concession ticket for children under 12 in an effort to encourage a family environment.
There will be free STA buses operating from all the key public transport and car parking hubs to get you to the site.  All you have to do is get yourself to Manly!

The Morning of the Earth Live Concert Event is the highlight of The Manly Festival of Surfing.  From November 5 to 8, join legends of the surf and local enthusiasts for one massive celebration of Australian culture.
In what is hoped to be the biggest festival of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere, Manly extends an open invitation to all Australians to a non-stop mix of not only board-riding itself, but of music, fashion, art, film and literature too.
Tickets for the Morning of the Earth Live Concert Event are available through and are on sale from Wednesday September 23, 2009.

For more information, log onto or
For further enquiries regarding the Morning of the Earth Concert or the Manly Festival of Surfing, please contact:
Megan Clancy on 02 9977 4969 or 0409 977 282 – [email protected], or
Chris Moss on 02 9948 2343 or 0414 402 664 – [email protected]


Silvana Lima Wins Commonwealth Bank Beachley Classic Over Stephanie Gilmore

Posted on October 4th, 2009 in Contests, Local Colour, News Stories, Surf News, Top stories.
Silvana Lima (BRA), 24, won the commonwealth Bank Beachley Classic over Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), 21, marking back-to-back ASP Women's World Tour wins for the current ASP Women's World No. 2.

Silvana Lima (BRA), 24, won the commonwealth Bank Beachley Classic over Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), 21, marking back-to-back ASP Women's World Tour wins for the current ASP Women's World No. 2.

DEE WHY, New South Wales (Sunday, October 4, 2009) – Silvana Lima (BRA), 24, won the Commonwealth Bank Beachley Classic this afternoon over reigning two-time ASP Women’s World Champion and current ASP Women’s World No. 1 Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), 21,  in stormy three-to-five foot (1.5 metre) conditions at Dee Why in an action packed Final, marking back-to-back wins for the hungry Brazilian after claiming the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach.

Gilmore jumped out to an early lead in the sea-saw battle for the 2009 Commonwealth Bank Beachley Classic title, but Lima fought back throughout the heat, collecting a 7.77 and eventually securing the win with an 8.83 for a lengthy forehand barrel to post the highest heat total of the event, an impressive 16.60 out of 20, en route to her first victory at the event after three consecutive Final appearances.

“I can’t believe it,” Lima said. “I’ve been in the Final in this event three times and I finally won. I was feeling really confident. The waves here today were like the waves in Brazil and I’m always surfing in these conditions. The final was really good. Steph (Gilmore) got some good waves too and I was able to get two good ones.”

The back-to-back ASP Women’s World Tour wins secured by the hungry Brazilian have significantly tightened the ratings for this year’s ASP Women’s World Title and although Gilmore still holds on to the ratings lead, Lima is following closely in the No. 2 position.

“I’m definitely looking at the title, but it’s too early,” Lima said “There are still four contests left this year, so there is more work for everyone, but I feel so much more confident after my first win at Bells.”

Gilmore was in devastating form throughout the entire Commonwealth Bank Beachley Classic, blasting some of the event’s top scores with a committed forehand attack on the steep Dee Why right-handers, but was unable to top Lima in the Final.

“To come back after such a long break and still make the Final, I’m pretty happy with that,” Gilmore said. “Silvana (Lima) beat me at Bells and her confidence is through the roof at the moment, so my challenge is to step it up another level. I did it in the Semifinals, but maybe I peaked too early.”

Gilmore, who fell to Lima in the Final at the last stop on the ASP Women’s World Tour, knows claiming this year’s ASP Women’s World Title will be no easy task and is preparing for the next four stops scheduled on the 2009 calendar.

“It’s definitely game on,” Gilmore said. “There are four events left and everyone is really fired up and off to Portugal, Peru and Hawaii, so I can’t think of a better way to finish off the tour.”

Sofia Mulanovich (PER), 26, was also on fire throughout the entire event, topping 2005 ASP Women’s World Champion Chelsea Hedges (AUS), 25, en route to her third place finish, but could not find a solid score in her Semifinal heat against eventual Commonwealth Bank Beachley Classic winner, Lima.

“I couldn’t really find a rhythm in that last heat,” Mulanovich said. “I couldn’t land a turn, but it’s alright. I guess I was a bit nervous and the waves didn’t come my way, but it’s the same conditions for everyone. I’ll just look at where things went wrong and use that for next time.”

Mulanovich, who was the 2004 ASP Women’s World Champion, has now notched back-to-back third place results, leaving her in third overall on the ratings, but as a former champion, the Peruvian natural-footer knows she’ll need to win events this year if she is to claim another ASP Women’s World title.

“Silvana got me at Bells too,” Mulanovich said. “It’s the same result. A third-place is a good result and I need to work a little more on the mental side of things, but I know that, so that’s what I’m going to do. A third is good, but you need to win events to win the title. I’m still towards the top of the ratings and I’m just going to go from there.”

Melanie Bartels (HAW), 27, was a standout performer throughout the event’s entirety, ousting an international field of competitors including Rebecca Woods (AUS), 25, and Rosanne Hodge (ZAF), 22, on the way to her Semifinals berth. The talented Hawaiian struggled to find a solid score in her battle against Gilmore, bowing out of the Commonwealth Bank Beachley Classic with a third place finish.

“I just wasn’t in rhythm out there and I couldn’t find anything,” Bartels said. “It’s tough out there, but I’m stoked that I made the Semifinals, it’s a good result, but I just wanted to surf well, I wanted to put on a good performance and I don’t feel like I did that, but that’s how it goes.”

For Commonwealth Bank Beachley Classic photos, results and highlights log on to

The next stop on the ASP Women’s World Tour will be the Rip Curl Search in Peniche, Portugal, which holds a waiting period from October 26 through 30, 2009.

For additional ASP information log on to

Commonwealth Bank Beachley Classic Final:
Silvana Lima (BRA) 16.60
2- Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 12.67

Commonwealth Bank Beachley Classic Semifinals Results:
Heat 1:
Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 15.17 def. Melanie Bartels (HAW) 6.87
Heat 2: Silvana Lima (BRA)10.60 def. Sofia Mulanovich (PER) 5.40

Commonwealth Bank Beachley Classic Quarterfinals Results:
Heat 1:
Melanie Bartels (HAW) 6.35 def. Rebecca Woods (AUS) 5.97
Heat 2: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 15.54 def. Coco Ho (HAW) 8.80
Heat 3: Silvana Lima (BRA) 12.57 def. Jacqueline Silva (BRA) 9.00
Heat 4: Sofia Mulanovich (PER) 12.86 def. Chelsea Hedges (AUS) 8.10

ASP Women’s World Tour Ratings After Commonwealth Bank Beachley Classic:
1 – Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 3241 points
2 – Silvana Lima (BRA) 2880
3 – Sofia Mulanovich (PER) 2139
4 – Melanie Bartels (HAW) 1983
5 – Coco Ho (HAW) 1723
6 – Rebecca Woods (AUS) 1711
7 – Paige Hareb (NZL) 1704
8 – Chelsea Hedges (AUS) 1519
8 – Jacqueline Silva (BRA) 1519
10 – Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 1512
11 – Samantha Cornish (AUS) 1308
12 – Rosanne Hodge (ZAF) 1116
12 – Alana Blanchard (HAW) 1116
14 – Bruna Schmitz (BRA) 1110
15 – Amee Donohoe (AUS) 918
16 – Layne Beachley (AUS) 756
16 – Jessi Miley-Dyer (AUS) 756

Beachley Falls to Woods in Round 3 of Commonwealth Bank Beachley Classic

Posted on October 3rd, 2009 in Contests, Local Colour, News Stories, Surf News.

Rebecca Woods (AUS), 25, current ASP World No. 8, eliminated seven-time ASP Women's World Champion Layne Beachley (AUS), 37, in Round 3 of Commonwealth Bank Beachley Classic competition today, which was offically Beachley's last heat on the ASP Women's World Tour.

Rebecca Woods (AUS), 25, current ASP World No. 8, eliminated seven-time ASP Women's World Champion Layne Beachley (AUS), 37, in Round 3 of Commonwealth Bank Beachley Classic competition today, which was offically Beachley's last heat on the ASP Women's World Tour.

DEE WHY, New South Wales (Saturday, October 3, 2009) – The Commonwealth Bank Beachley Classic got back underway today when the world’s finest competitive female surfers were greeted with stormy three-to four foot (1.5  metre) surf at Dee Why and completed two rounds of competition.

Today’s action saw surfing icon and seven-time ASP Women’s World Champion Layne Beachley (AUS), 37, fall to Rebecca Woods (AUS), 25, in Round 3 in what was officially her last professional heat while reigning two-time ASP Women’s World Champion Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), 21, was victorious in a highly anticipated rematch over defending event champion Tyler Wright (AUS), 15.

Woods, who relegated Beachley to Round 2 in their opening Commonwealth Bank Beachley Classic bout, eliminated the ASP Women’s World Tour veteran from competition today when they faced off in the tricky Round 3 conditions at Dee Why and advanced through to the Quarterfinals.

“It feels great to go in to the Quarterfinals and to get two wins against Layne (Beachley),” Woods said. “In these types of conditions, the waves are all over the place, so it’s really just a fight to get waves. Layne’s been on tour for nearly 20 years and she’s gotten the best of me in nearly every man-on-man heat we’ve had, so I wanted to go out there and give it one last shot, so I’m happy with that.”

The talented Australian has yet to advance past the Quarterfinals in the first two events of the2009 calendar and is hoping to break through to the Semifinals at this year’s Commonwealth Bank Beachley Classic.

“I’m excited to try and work through to the Semifinals,” Woods said. “The title of Quarterfinal Queen needs to be gone. I’ve got Bartels in the next heat and she’s always a hard one, so we’ll see what happens.”

Beachley was unable to find a rhythm in what would be her career-last heat and logged her career-lowest heat total (a .50 out of a possible 20) while bowing out to Woods, but her tough luck in the Round 3 matchup has no reflection on the illustrious champions previous accomplishments.

“It’s a demoralizing way to go out, but it doesn’t depict my career at all,” Beachley said. “All I can do is laugh. To finish my career after winning seven ASP World Titles with a 0.50 heat total in my last heat is pretty comical, but very devastating at the same time.”

After an impressive Round 2 performance, Beachley was unable to find a rhythm against woods and posted only one small score before the clock ran down in her heat.

“I just couldn’t afford to buy a heat out there,” Beachley said. “At the end of the day, I’ve had a fairytale career and I guess you can’t finish with a fairytale ending.”

Gilmore, who is the current ASP Women’s World No. 1, eliminated defending event Champion, Wright, in a low-scoring affair. Wright caught a last-second wave and was unable to clinch the small score needed to advance over the reigning ASP World Champion, opening the door for Gilmore to advance through to the Quarterfinals.

“I’m glad to get the win, but I’m disappointed in my performance,” Gilmore said. “It was difficult and I think I only scraped through because Tyler (Wright) fell on her wave at the end. It’s a win though, I’ll take it. I really studied the conditions before I went out and I got out there and it was a totally different story. It just shows that no matter how much hard work you put in, the ocean’s still in control.”

After falling to the prodigious young Australian in Round 3 of last year’s Beachley Classic, Gilmore approached the rematch against Wright with more caution and her tactics allowed her to come out on top in this year’s battle.

“I took the heat a little more seriously because of what happened last year,” Gilmore said. “I take every heat really seriously and although it looks like I’m having a lot of fun I’m still working really hard and Tyler (Wright) is dangerous in all conditions. She likes bigger waves and she’s very mature. I just went out there with my game head on and worked hard.”

Silvana Lima (BRA), 24, who is the current ASP World No. 2, bashed the day’s highest heat total, an impressive 16.00 out of 20, with committed forehand surfing on the thumping Dee Why right-handers.

“The conditions are tough, but I was able to get two good rights,” Lima said. “I saw that the girls in the other heats were not hitting the closeout sections, so I was trying to smash the closeouts to get higher scores and it worked out.”

Lima, who is fresh off of her first career victory at Bells Beach and a two-time Beachley Classic runner-up, is hungry to claim back-to-back wins and is ready to better her result at this year’s Commonwealth Bank Beachley Classic.

“Here we are again,” Lima said. “I’ve finished second here twice before and I’d love to win this year.”

Lima will face fellow Brazilian Jacqueline Silva (BRA), 30, in Quarterfinal No.3 when competition resumes.

Commonwealth Bank Beachley Classic event organizers will reconvene at 7am local time tomorrow for a possible 8am start. The event will be webcast LIVE via

For all of your ASP needs log on to

Commonwealth Bank Beachley Classic Round 3 Results:
Heat 1:
Melanie Bartels (HAW) 8.10 def. Rosanne Hodge (ZAF) 7.50
Heat 2: Rebecca Woods (AUS) 7.00 def. Layne Beachley (AUS) .50
Heat 3: Coco Ho (HAW) 14.50 def. Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 12.90
Heat 4: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 8.60 def. Tyler Wright (AUS) 8.45
Heat 5: Silvana Lima (BRA) 16.00 def. Jessi Miley-Dyer (AUS) 10.50
Heat 6: Jacqueline Silva (BRA) 14.25 def. Samantha Cornish (AUS) 4.10
Heat 7: Chelsea Hedges (AUS) 13.15 def. Paige Hareb (NZL) 12.25
Heat 8: Sofia Mulanovich (PER) 14.25 def. Alana Blanchard (HAW) 4.45

Commonwealth Bank Beachley Classic Round 2 Results: (1st and 2nd advance)

Heat 1: Layne Beachley (AUS) 9.15, Jesse Miley-Dyer (AUS) 8.50, Amee Donohoe (AUS) 5.95

Heat 2: Chelsea Hedges (AUS) 11.50, Alana Blanchard (HAW) 8.00, Bruna Schmitz (BRA) 5.15


Posted on September 30th, 2009 in Can you help?, Environment, Good causes, Local Colour, News Stories, Surf culture, Surf history, Surf News, Surf politics, Top stories.
Professional Surfer and environmental campaigner Dave Rastovich and the sea kayak he will navigate to Sydney.

Professional Surfer and environmental campaigner Dave Rastovich and the sea kayak he will navigate to Sydney.

Professional surfer Dave Rastovich initiates a bold environmental awareness campaign tomorrow from Byron Bay.

Professional free-surfer and environmental campaigner David Rastovich will attempt an epic 700km ocean paddle from Byron Bay to Bondi Beach this October.

The journey aims to follow the annual migration south of humpback whales and their calves while raising awareness of the need to protect the majestic mammals and the world’s ocean environments.

Twenty nine year-old Rastovich (Brunswick Heads, AUS) is using the paddle to extend his personal environmental journey which in 2006 saw him co-found the “Surfers for Cetaceans” movement and in July this year saw him granted one of just 200 invitations to attend former US Vice President Al Gore’s The Climate Project – Asia-Pacific Summit.

On October 1st “Rasta”, accompanied by world-class water photographer Hilton Dawe (Byron Bay, AUS) and a videographer who will help chronicle the event, will step from the sands of Main Beach, Byron Bay and begin the journey in single-seat sea kayaks.

Joining them will be Chris Del Moro (Los Angeles, USA) a respected free surfer, activist, artist and co-director of Surfers for Cetaceans.

Assisted only by the wind and waves, Rasta and his cohorts will paddle the entire distance aiming to reach Bondi by November 5th. Each afternoon they will paddle to the nearest beach, rest overnight, engage with local communities and – conditions permitting – take advantage of the local surf.

The primary intention of the journey is to draw attention to the plight of the migrating whales that ultimately are destined for the chilly waters of the Southern Ocean and the inevitable visits by Japanese whaling fleets.

In addition, the team will record and highlight other areas of environmental concern including the effects of the commercial fishing industry on marine mammals and fish stocks; run-off issues to do with agricultural, domestic and industrial human activities; the state of rivers and estuaries; and where necessary they will also initiate beach clean-ups.

It is a well-intentioned odyssey that, at worst, is certain to be an incredible test of endurance but will also, quite possibly, double as the surf-trip-of-a-lifetime.

“What excites me the most is being able to combine the high-risk elements of surfing and sailing and the notion of endurance and pushing your body,” said Rastovich.  “I’m eager to bring those elements together with environmental awareness initiatives.

“Our intentions are that, after 36 days and 700 kilometers, we’ll have helped educate a lot of people on the beauty and majesty of the whales, plus the impact we all have on what is such an amazing stretch of coastline and in what ways we might all implement positive change.”

An additional kayak will be made available to a small roster of like-minded invited guests – individuals who share the mission’s sense of purpose and who are able to help bolster public awareness.

Participants already scheduled to take part include eight-time Molokai-to-Oahu paddling champion Jamie Mitchell, former world #5, pro surfer Matt Hoy, and professional surf commentator, editor and musician Adam ‘Vaughan’ Blakey.

“Our intentions are to reach Bondi and celebrate the completion of our voyage with Captain Paul Watson of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society,” said Rastovich.

“We expect to be crossing paths with the Sea Shepherd crew on the journey as they take their ship, the Steve Irwin, to Perth where they will launch their next campaign to save our whales in Antarctica. The same whales we will be paddling alongside.”

The official Transparentsea launch will take place on Thursday, October 1st at Main Beach, Byron Bay. Here, members of the Aboriginal Bundjalung tribe will don traditional dress and perform a farewell ceremony. Following the ceremony, the kayakers will paddle out to meet the whales and begin their long voyage south to Sydney.

Transparentsea participants (L to R): Surfer Dave Rastovich, musician Will Conner, Surfrider Foundation's Kristy Theissling and Californian surfer, artist and campaigner Chris Del Moro. Photographed today in Byron Bay.

Transparentsea participants (L to R): Surfer Dave Rastovich, musician Will Conner, Surfrider Foundation's Kristy Theissling and Californian surfer, artist and campaigner Chris Del Moro. Photographed today in Byron Bay.

Make Waves for Manly’s Festival of Surfing – 5-8 Nov 2009

Posted on September 17th, 2009 in Contests, For the Diary, Local Colour, News Stories, Site News, Surf culture, Surf News, Top stories.

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Manly NSW — This November, join legends of the surf and local enthusiasts for one massive celebration of Australian culture. Presented by Global Surf Industries, with thanks to Manly Council, the Manly Festival of Surfing is hitting shores from November 5 to 8, 2009. And Don and Shari from RealSurf will be there too!

 As the Global Surf Industries mantra goes, “life is better when you surf”, so what better way to put this motto into action and celebrate our national pastime than by staging a huge four day, action-packed event in Australia’s spiritual birthplace of surfing – and one of the most beautiful spots in the world – Manly.

In what they hope to be the biggest festival of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere, Manly extends an open invitation to all Australians to a non-stop mix of not only board-riding itself, but of music, fashion, art, film and literature too.

Best bit? It’s an event for everyone. Following a paddle-out ceremony for one and all to kick things off, there’ll be loads (and loads) of awesome stuff to do. Daily surf lessons will be a must-do, plus you can take in a surf documentary at Manly Cinema, chow down at a first-class dinner with some of our true surfing legends with the likes of Tom Carroll, Layne Beachley and Damien Hardman or stick around until dark for night surfing demos.

To soak up even more of Manly’s surf history spanning almost a century, the Manly Surf Club and The Manly Art Gallery will be open for all to view during the festival period. If you’re looking to take a small piece of this incredible surf festival home, 30 surfboard artworks from various local artists have been created and scattered throughout Manly’s shop fronts, which will be auctioned off with proceeds going to the Disabled Surfers Association and Surf Aid International.

The public will also have the opportunity to test all of the latest and greatest board models available from extremely popular 7s Fishes through to the wild and wonderful Meyerhoffer longboard designs, courtesy of major surfboard distributors including Manly’s very own –Global Surf Industries.

If you haven’t  caught the super contagious surfing bug after all of that, grab a ticket, kick back and soak up the atmosphere of the 1970’s film classic Morning Of The Earth. This visual masterpiece will be played as the backdrop to the live performance of the original soundtrack, which will be played live by the original writers and performers Brian Cadd and Tim Gaze.

Grab your board (and your festival spirit) and join celebrities Wayne Gardner, Bob McTavish and a host of surfing experts to watch a community come together for the inaugural Manly Festival of Surfing. ‘Cos surfing isn’t just a sport – it’s a way of life!


For more information, log onto

For media enquiries please call Luke Dean-Weymark at Use My Mind on 02 8399 0411 or 0412 062 200.

For event enquires please call Meegan Clancy on 0409 977 282.


Posted on August 31st, 2009 in Contests, Local Colour, News Stories, Surf News, Top stories.
Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), 21, reigning two-time ASP Women’s World Champion and current ASP World No. 1, will look to further cement her ratings’ lead at the upcoming Commonwealth Bank Beachley Classic. ASP/ CI/ ROBERTSON via GETTY IMAGES

Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), 21, reigning two-time ASP Women’s World Champion and current ASP World No. 1, will look to further cement her ratings’ lead at the upcoming Commonwealth Bank Beachley Classic. ASP/ CI/ ROBERTSON via GETTY IMAGES

DEE WHY, New South Wales (Monday, August 31, 2009) – After a lengthy mid-season break, the world’s best female surfers are re-igniting with the Commonwealth Bank Beachley Classic, Event No. 3 of 7 on the 2009 ASP Women’s World Tour, running at Sydney’s Dee Why Point from September 30 through October 5, 2009.

Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), 21, reigning two-time ASP Women’s World Champion and current ASP Women’s World No. 1, will look to further cement her ratings’ lead as she hunts down a third, consecutive ASP Women’s World Title, but will first need to refocus following the five-month break.

“Throughout the break I have enjoyed a fair bit of downtime,” Gilmore said. “I’ve been exploring California, seeing the sights, filming for my sponsors and taking pleasure in a few surf trips here and there. In the last few weeks I have really started to focus on the recommencement of the ASP Women’s World Tour and I am looking forward to putting the contest vest on and racking up another win.”

For the first time in the event’s four-year history, the Commonwealth Beachley Classic will move venue’s from the beachbreaks of Manly to the nearby pointbreak of Dee Why, a move that Gilmore believes will be to her advantage.

“I just got back from some great pointbreaks where the paddles were long and hard, so I feel fit and ready to tackle whatever current comes my way at Dee Why,” Gilmore said. “I am ready to slot into some backdoor action at the Point, lets hope it turns on.”

A two-time past winner at the event (2006, 2007), Gilmore’s bid for a three-peat was demolished early on in 2008, and the young Australian knows that the competition will be even fiercer at this season’s incarnation of the Commonwealth Bank Beachley Classic.

“With five rookies on tour this year it is like we have a whole lot of wildcards,” Gilmore said. “Sure, wildcards are hard, but that is just a part of the challenge. If you want to win the event you have to push past all of the other 17 surfers. Layne Beachley will be tough. But saying that, all the girls will be a threat at this year’s event. After such a long break, it will be interesting to see how everyone comes back.”

Tyler Wright (AUS), 15, defending Beachley Classic winner and the youngest ever winner of an elite ASP Women’s World Tour event, holds the added prestige of having taken out Gilmore at last season’s event. The two Australians will certainly meet again in 2009, having been paired up against one another in Round 1 of competition.

“I’m not really sure how to manage my nerves against someone like Steph (Gilmore),” Wright said. “I guess I just get so excited to surf against her that I forget about that stuff. The ASP Women’s World Tour has five new rookies this season so the event is going to be harder than ever, but I’m looking forward to it.”

Despite returning as event champion, Wright still feels little pressure competing on the world’s stage at such a young age and hopes experiences of the last season will only serve to make her a stronger competitor.

“I’ve only just turned 15 so I still have nothing to lose and everything to gain,” Wright said. “I still have a lot to learn and having another opportunity like this is unbelievable. Since last year, I’ve grown at least a centimeter so hopefully I have a bit more power behind my turns.”

Gilmore and Wright will take on the world’s best female surfers including current ASP Women’s World No. 2 Silvana Lima (BRA), 24, former seven-time ASP Women’s World Champion Layne Beachley (AUS), 37, at the Commonwealth Bank Beachley Classic.

For more information, log onto

WWII Japanese sub off the northern beaches

Posted on August 5th, 2009 in Local Colour, News Stories, Top stories.

A couple of interesting stories about the wartime sub that sank off Bungan Head on the northern beaches. (thanks to the Goat for rounding these up)

The Manly Daily story.

From NSW govt Dept of Environment, Water, Heritage and Arts website…

For over 60 years one of the great Australian wartime and maritime mysteries was the whereabouts of the third and last Japanese midget submarine, which invaded Sydney Harbour on the evening of 31 May 1942. That night, the harbour was full of allied naval vessels and the midget submarines were on a mission to inflict maximum damage.

Read more…

And here’s a fun and very well written little story called No Bodies: what became of the crew of M-24 (published on the website

The mystery and intrigue surrounding the missing crew of the Japanese midget submersible and their postattack steps are carefully retraced by expatriate historian, Associate Professor Kojihiro Matsuda*.

As my colleagues and I think, the crew did not die but abandoned their sinking midget submersible by jumping-off and going ashore at the Collaroy Basin. The damaged midget M-24 drifted on, empty, and sank quietly off Bungan Head. It was still dark, on the south end of Fisherman’s Beach, as Ban and Ashibe brushed the soft northern beaches sand from their feet and put their highly unpopular polyester socks and rubbersoled, lace-up, special submariners’ shoes back on. They easily skirted the tank traps that had been laid along the beach, laughing quietly, because as far as they knew; no tank-landing was being considered.
Smoking a navy-issue cigarette he had kept dry in a cellulose acetate drybag, superior officer Ban made the decision to proceed north by land to the end of the peninsular, confident that they would be able to signal the mother sub from the headland for a belated pickup.
Reaching the narrow sandy strip behind Collaroy Beach which ran beside the recently upgraded Pittwater Road, they saw on the other side of the road what they thought was a concrete bunker. It was in fact the local cinema, with The Wizard of Oz spelt out in belatedly dimmed incandescent bulbs. Wooden power poles and weatherboard houses lined both sides of the un-kerbed but upgraded road.
As they wandered North they saw a military radar station in complete darkness, its radar antenna motionless.
All was quiet except for some earlyrising roosters on a nearby chook farm and to the north a few still undimmed streetlights pinpointed the small settlement at Narrabeen.

Keep reading….

Rasta To Train With Al Gore At Climate Project In Melbourne

Posted on July 3rd, 2009 in Environment, Local Colour, News Stories, Surf culture, Surf history, Surf News, Top stories.


Billabong Freesurfer David Rastovich has been selected from more than 2000 Australasian applicants to be trained by former US Vice President Al Gore at The Climate Project – Australia Asia Pacific Summit (A-P Summit) in Melbourne in 11 – 13 July.

Building on the work of The Climate Project – Australia, the A-P Summit will bring together 300 people representing a diverse cross section of industry, advocacy and broad social groupings from Australasia and the Asia Pacific region. Mr Gore and a panel of international experts will provide the training hosted by the Australian Conservation Foundation.

Rastovich will have the chance to help focus and re-invigorate the Asia Pacific’s regional response to climate change in the lead into the critical UNCCC Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen in December 2009.

It’s a big opportunity for the passionate environmentalist, who was selected based on his work protecting the marine environment and the foundation of his own organisation Surfers For Cetaceans.

“I think anyone passionate about protecting the environment and the issue of Climate Change would jump at the chance to listen to and learn from Al Gore,” said Rastovich.  “Part of attending this summit is to become an advocate for climate change and to pass on the messages through my own activities.”

“I feel Climate Change plays a large part in the issues I’m passionate about, especially the protection of marine mammals such as Whales and Dolphins.”

“The A-P Summit has a specific focus on the unique window of time to act on climate change. Together A-P Summit delegates will inspire people from the region to make a difference at global level,” said Angela Rutter, Manager of The Climate Project ‑ Australia.

One in seventy five Australians have now seen a presentation delivered by one of the 250 Al Gore trained Climate Project presenters working throughout communities in Australia.


Psillakis Surfboards launches new site

Posted on April 24th, 2009 in Advertorial, Local Colour, News Stories, Top stories.


Mike’s philosophy is simple, but remarkably rare in today’s industry. It’s all about the boards!
The driving passion is to create hand shaped boards to suit individual surfers needs. Total control over the design process allows him to focus on the surfer and adapt different designs to suit. By shaping boards by hand it allows him to explore the hundreds of potential combinations that can create that elusive magic board that every surfer is looking for. Such a philosophy takes time, commitment and hard work which, unfortunately, not every shaper is willing to give. The sad truth is that the majority of boards are now made by machines for the mass market.

The philosophy of hand shaping surfboards is nothing revolutionary, quite the opposite, and that’s where the strength of hand shaping lies. Mike has been shaping surfboards for different surfers with different needs for seventeen years. No amount of technology can replace the importance of speaking to a shaper about what you want and then having a shaper with the experience to convert that into a board that is perfect for you.

Over the years Mike has shaped boards for Lee Winkler, Mark Mathews, Nathan Webster, Jarrod Howse and other various WCT surfers. Shaping out of Manly Vale on Sydney’s Northern Beaches you’ll find him out surfing anywhere along the stretch.

Working with Simon Anderson in Japan and Australia over a period of 8 years has influenced his shaping & design skills, as well as finding knowledge to create his own new and exciting designs. He has developed his own technique as one of Australia’s best handshapers.

Voted Shaper of the Year in the Realsurf Shapers Poll, he has developed a loyal following locally and around the world.

His new website is up & running, with a new look, styling and functionality. The site gives you an overview of all his current models, including his specialised models like the MP series, the Squid, the hipster, the diamond & his seventies series. It also has an easily downloadable order form to simplify the ordering process.

Support a local at:


Posted on April 6th, 2009 in Contests, Good causes, Local Colour, News Stories, Surf News, Top stories.
Mick with a few groms.

Mick with a few groms.

TORQUAY, Australia — Victorian kids traveled up to 13 hours for a rare chance to go surfing with their heroes at Bells Beach.

Freezing storm surf was no deterrent for the liliputian army of 60 kids who were invited by the world’s best surfers to catch some waves with them at one of the world’s most famous breaks.

The “Surf With The Stars” day — the surfing equivalent of a young golfer playing a round with Tiger Woods — is put together by the pros through their athletes’ union, and is instigated by 2007 World Champ Mick Fanning. And Fanning wasn’t going to let a lingering flu stop him from hitting the icy waves with the grommets.

“Look how stoked they are, it’s all about giving them a connection and hopefully inspiring them … and it’s generally just a whole lot of fun for us too because we get to hang out and find out a bit about them as well.”

“It’s that simple,” World #16 Kieren Perrow added. “You’ve got to see these guys, some come from distant pockets of coast and they rip, especially the families that drove over six hours, each way, to come and surf with us.”

According to parent and designated driver Mark Traynor of remote Lake’s Entrance: “It’s a 13 hour round-trip.”


Sean Squires, 17, also of Lakes Entrance laughed, ”Yeah it was a long drive and we even had trouble from some bikies following us for part of the way, but it was definitely worth it just to see the guys surf up close and say ‘g’day’.”

Tom Harrison, 10, of Barwon Heads agreed, “It was crazy seeing them all out there. Mick Fanning said, ‘If you see any of us pros on a wave, just go for it’; so I rode the same wave with Bede Durbidge, I dropped in on him but he didn’t care. I got one good turn in too.”

The stoked kids came from local board-riders’ clubs all over Victoria and the day was put together with the support of Torquay Boardriders Club and the Mitchell Surfing Foundation.