Bells Beach, The eternal summer of 1973. 

I’d breezed through the heats, had a dream run in the preliminaries and was now on my way to landing a spot in the semis. I more than looked the part. My salty mop of sun-tinged hair sat atop of a slim, taut body of bronze that rarely wore more than a pair of Golden Breed boardies…and a Rip Curl surfboard umbilically tethered to my ankle. I was cool. I was hot. I was very, very good. And I was competing in my first international surf carnival.

Pine-lime Splices, string bikinis, RC Cola, Chico rolls, campfires on the sand, minimum chips, heat-stressed cassette tapes and the great, great, Great Ocean Road.

Girls? Yeah. Plenty of ’em. But my real love was the water. The waves. The salt. And the spray from the off-shore that’d peel off from the swell like a long lick of gossamer, like free verse, like perfection.

That summer the dance never stopped. On one level it really didn’t matter if I was on my board or not. I never stopped surfing. I’d think it, feel it, breath it in, swivel, flex, bend, plan, conquer, rip through and cut, splay,