We arrived in Australia, and I was stoked, like my dream for reaching all seven continents I had a dream to come to Australia for many reasons. But one of the more poignant ones for me was for the story of surfing.
As some of you know I have been a huge surfing fan since I was a teenager, unfortunately the passion onshore does not match my ability offshore but being in the water is always a priority so body boarding has become my water sport of choice. This however has not stopped my passion for the sport. So much so that whilst at university as part of my degree, through the History component, I focused on sports history and in particular beach history.
This focus leads me onto writing my dissertation in my final year about surfing in Australia and in particular the Professionalisation of Australian Surfing 1964 to 1976. Now I hear many of you laugh at this topic but this was actually a very hard and intense subject, it lead me all over the UK studying and gaining access to the limited number of resources on the subject, this included special access to Oxford University and its Libraries.
Anyway, background aside, I ended up accruing a great deal of knowledge on the history of surfing and in Australian surfing Manly and Freshwater beaches have become the birth place and spiritual home of surfing. It was the location of Duke Kanahmanamoho’s first demonstration on surfing the early 1900’s and some 50 years later the location of the first world surfing championships.
Needless to say I know a lot about Manly, so I was stoked when the day after our fantastic arrival into Sydney Tim and Judy took us to lunch in a fantastic restaurant over looking Manly Beach. I don’t think at the time anyone really knew how much it meant to finally be here, 14 years after writing about it I was finally here, a fantastic beach, perfect location and in a country where the beach is king!