Category Archives: Land & Seascapes

2018 Skullcandy Oz Grom Surfing Open

Held annually at Lennox Head in the July school holidays, this major junior surfing competition draws around 300 competitors, not only from NSW, but around Australia and even from around the world.

Many parents take advantage of the pilgrimage to combine travelling to the comp and make for a family surfing holiday.

I went out behind the scenes with a backdrop of perfect winter weather… to capture a different perspective of the general ‘cool’ vibe of the aged variety of spectators taking in the ‘Groms At Play: IN and OUT of the WATER’ …

MY FIRST AUTHORED BOOK

Well, co-authored to be correct.

For over a year, with limited resources, I was part of the dedicated volunteer ‘Surfing Lennox Crew’ applying our best efforts to assist the Lennox Head Heritage Committee produce a 104 page book Surfing Lennox: From Then to Now.

The  book chronicles 70 years surfing around the town of Lennox Head and takes you on a wild ride following the evolution of the town from a once sleepy fishing hamlet, to when the first lone surfers tentatively entered the water, to the seemingly unstoppable crowds attracted today to the iconic world renowned surf location.

The book covers the breaks of the Lennox National Surfing Reserve (LNSR) stretching from the south between Flat Rock to the Lennox Head-Alstonville Surf Club in the north. It is ten years since the dedication of the LNSR and the book explores all the themes that define National Surfing Reserves: ‘sites of environmental, cultural and historical significance to the Australian surfing culture.’

Behind this backdrop are the people, groups, the characters who were born here, visited, stayed or have come and gone. It is not only the location and environment, but this diverse bunch that together in some way, shape or form, makes Lennox such a special and unique ‘buzzing’ town.

As co-authors’ our contributions combine with materials delivered via donations from the public to make for irreplaceable recollections the local community can now keep as an archival document.  The volume of information and images received was overwhelming and we faced some difficult challenges; many decisions about inclusion were very tough to make.

To include everything and everyone was impossible and there is no claim as definitive, but in turning the history pages of our towns surfing journey the modest size book still covers a great measure of authentic ground. Who knows, perhaps, with more resources the next generation could produce a definitive history and fill a large 300 page hard-cover book.

But right now we do finally have an interesting, stylishly presented book. And all entirely locally produced, edited, designed and printed!

Monies from the sale of the book will go to the not-for-profit Lennox Head Heritage Committee and Lennox National Surfing Reserve Inc.

Surfing Lennox From Then to Now is currently selling at Lennox Post Office,  and local shops, Anchor Chief, The Book Room, Lennox Head Surf and ABC Bookstore Ballina for $49.00 RRP.

HIPPY’S IMAGE

When ‘Hippy’ Craig Richards became the new licenced  trader at Lennox Head Motors he asked me: “can you design a new Ad, as the old Ad with the Volvo HAS TO GO (sorry Volvo drivers) but it just doesn’t fit our image, here in Lennox right across from the beach.”

AD BEFORE:

AD AFTER:

I came up with this based on the look of the old N.S.W. Rego stickers. The old Holden wagon cruising down the road over the waves with the old timber Malibu surf board strapped onto the roof-racks.

A few months later I designed a new and different Business Card.

 

N.Z. Methven Heliski 2006

August 2016 signifies ten years since I last went Heli-Boarding.

Join me in the back seat for a behind the scenes look, with the experts at Methven Heli-Ski operations, as we head west following the Rakaia River to Heli-base farm and take off from there…

Click into photos to enlarge…

Within an hour the beautiful scenic drive lands you at the Heli-base for a welcome cuppa, safety briefs and to start ‘gearing-up’.

Groups are organised to place snow riders with similar abilities together and make sure everyone is set to hit the terrain they are most comfortable with.

While waiting for my groups departure I took the opportunity to ‘shoot a few of the birds’ as groups were shuttled up the mountain range.

Finally my turn arrived and the adventure begins!!!

After a run you can look back down on your tracks and the temporary signature you carved onto the mountain.

There is the stop for lunch with one of the best views any restaurant in the world could offer…

A few more runs later, as you are about to ride ‘the bird’ back to base, you have that one last look back over your tracks.

Its back to the farm base for a wind down cuppa, then later back to your accommodation. And finally, sadly, sooner or later back home. But your soaring soul still taking  quite a few weeks to arrive back down to earth!

The Stairway to Heaven

Here is a nice slice from ‘hanging out’ on The Stairway to Heaven on the a weekend 14 – 15th May. The weather is as good as it gets. Cool nights with perfect warm sunny blue sky days equalled with water temps in the mid 20’s degree C. Topped with excellent water clarity of magnificent colour, light off-shore winds and some nice little waves.

Big Boulders Tow-In Day 2006

10 April marks ten years since I captured these images of Tow-In Surfers taking on !HUGE SURF! rolling into the Lennox Head region.

Boulders to Flatrock

To get some perspective of just how big it was look at the above photo (Boulders to Flatrock) and zoom into the foreground headland and compare the size of the people spectating on the headland. Also, if you are familiar with this surf break, zoom into the peg and you will know what I am talking about.

In the same picture, in the very distance background, waves can be seen breaking across Flatrock. The feature being the centerpiece of the picture with waves breaking from Sharps through Skinners Head to Boulders Beach.

 

Over the entire day only a handful of souls managed to paddle into a couple of waves at Lennox Point.

Many HUGE very good ride-able waves were breaking way out from usual locations and 4 Jet Ski assist tow-in riders led by Lennox legend Billy Hession tracked an area at The Cove at the southern end of Lennox Headland.

 

Below sequences Geoff Doig:

 

Ben King Memorial Paddle Out – Byron Bay 2006

The 21st March signified ten years since the Ben King Memorial Paddle Out. Here are three of the most iconic shots I captured on the day: The Gathering (on the beach), The Paddle Out and The Circle formation in the water.

The Gathering
The Gathering
The Paddle Out
The Paddle Out
The Circle
The Circle

This was a pretty difficult assignment to shoot back in the days before ‘Drones’ and I must praise motorised glider pilot Dieter Hostmann from Tyagarah Airfield for his flying skills and manoeuvring to get help me in best position to get the shots. It was a pretty tight fit in the cockpit as I sat by his side and only had a porthole opening on the right side window about the size of a CD case to point the camera out of and which was located at about my chest height.

Glider

Also thanks to Paul Full of Ace Photo Shop in Ballina for tidying up the shots with his digital imaging expertise.

In respect of Jen King (Ben’s widow) wishes these images are not for sale and are for display purposes only.