Tracks - - Buzz -

GRATE­FUL DAVE /////// /////////////////////// To me surf­ing is not about how good you are, but how much you love it. I was for­tu­nate to catch some great waves and be praised by many good surfers dur­ing my time. One of my many high­lights be­ing that China O'Con­nor used to pad­dle out if he saw me in the wa­ter. For those un­aware, China was, on his day, as good as Mick, Dingo, Joel, Rab­bit and Reg Ri­ley com­bined, with NPJ's bar­rel knowl­edge thrown in for good mea­sure. Yep, China's pay­ing me for this. But three neck fu­sions and two stuffed shoul­ders saw my last body­surf at small per­fect snap­per end up with me lay­ing paral­ysed in four inches of wa­ter and nearly drown­ing. But boy am I blessed. Thank­fully I now get so stoked see­ing other peo­ple get­ting waves. I know the in­creased crowds and lack of surf­ing eti­quette has some­what di­min­ished both the true soul con­nec­tion between rider and ocean, and the essence of con­nec­tion to na­ture, but the fact re­mains if you are a surfer you are still very, very blessed. Please try to re­mem­ber this and if you get burned, faded or miss the sec­tion be­cause of crew, stay stoked, cause you will be re­warded. The fact that you are even surf­ing shows you are in­deed blessed.

Dave China O'Con­nor, what a blast from the past! I re­mem­ber the no­to­ri­ous Kirra switch­foot tubes. Keep up the pos­i­tive out­look Dave, we love it. - Ed.

WAZZA FROM WA //////////////////////////// ‘Twas a crisp win­ter’s morn­ing, clear bright blue sky, The swell was a pumpin’: ‘bout 6ft high. I jumped in the car with my mate for the day, Big War­ren, or “Wazza”, from W.A. Just south of Len­nox we found the right spot, Great size and shape, this point had the lot. The jump off the rocks - 10 ft down to the wa­ter, Wazza said “Should we?”- I said we oughta. I jumped in first- all went pretty well, I said to Wazza: “time it with the swell”. To check he was OK, I looked over my shoul­der, Waz timed it right as he jumped off the boul­der. I was happy to see his feet leave the ground, He’d done it just right, so I turned right around. But the sound of the splash wasn’t quite right, So I turned back around, and oh, what a sight. Wazza in the wa­ter – he was all there, ‘though his leg rope leg was right up in the air. His leg rope was tight, he was calm, God love him, But his board was on rock, 10 ft above him. I sig­nalled a fish­er­man, he un­hitched the tan­gle, Did it too fast for a board tight on the dan­gle. The board sprung down on the rocks: “Ker dunk, ker dunk”, And I thought then our surf might just be sunk. Waz checked his board, then shouted: not with glee, For now there were two fins, where once there was three. But he kept on surfin’ – the guy’s kind of gal­lant, You don’t need three fins with his kind of tal­ent. We caught waves, had fun: what surf’s all about, But one wave Waz was late to pull out. As he rose from the white­wash, he sig­naled to me, He now had just one fin, where once there were three. So he caught the next wave in, right to the shore, Then sig­naled again – he had lost yet one more. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry, Wazza just stood there, won­der­ing why. Great on three fins, on two pretty swell, Even on one fin, he’d done very well. But with no fins at all, three holes where they lay, Even big Wazza had to call it a day. There’ll be lots of yarns ‘bout that day’s waves, Of tubes and wipe­outs and mirac­u­lous saves. But of all the sto­ries to come out of that day, None will beat Wazza’s, from W.A.

John Ed­wards That was quite an ef­fort from Wazza. Al­though those rocks you speak of have claimed many a vic­tim over the years. - Ed

IN LOV­ING MEM­ORY /////////////////////////// Stephen Lau­rence Rice 1954 - 2014. Avid Tracks reader & col­lec­tor; long-time fan of cap­tain Good­vibes. My younger brother Steve was born in Kog­a­rah, Syd­ney on June 9th, 1954. He be­gan surf­ing along­side me in 1965. Our early surf­ing years spent in and around the Cronulla area, later be­com­ing reg­u­lars at “The Point”. In 1976, Steve, my­self, and a cou­ple of mates set off on a surf­ing jour­ney through Mau­ri­tius, Mada­gas­car, Africa and Europe. Steve went to Is­rael for 6 months and then joined up with me, work­ing on oil rigs and plat­forms off Canada, UK, Nor­way & Fin­land. Fully cashed up again, Steve set off and trav­elled and surfed through­out the UK. I headed back to OZ and de­cided to have a quick stopover in Bun­bury in the south west of WA, to visit a mate I met over­seas. Steve, on his re­turn to OZ in Jan­uary 1978, de­cided to join me and my new found Sand­groper mates at their surfer’s farm­house at Aus­tralind, just North of Bun­bury. This was a bench­mark year for top qual­ity surf through­out WA, and within a few months we had ce­mented life-long friend­ships. Steve’s bud­ding board de­sign as­pi­ra­tions were given a chance to blos­som when we were in­vited to join the small but highly pro­duc­tive team at Peter Mercer Surf­boards, in nearby Capel. Un­der the tu­tor­age of Peter Mercer and Alf Jef­fries, we learned the fine art of surf­board con­struc­tion. How­ever, af­ter sev­eral fun years, the travel bug struck again. I headed off to the US while Steve worked for a while at Cord­ingly Surf­boards in Perth. Steve then headed back east to Cres­cent Head and worked at Sea­d­uce in Kempsey, once again for his men­tor, Alf Jef­fries. In late 1982, we once again re­u­nited and headed back to the West, surf­ing all along the way. We set­tled in Capel, ap­prox­i­mately 55km north of Yallingup. In mid-1983 we opened our own board work­shop – Sealines Fi­bre­glass. Like most other surfer / shapers this was a dream come true for Steve and he was lucky enough to keep liv­ing the dream un­til the end. A few years later we both mar­ried lo­cal Capel girls and had two daugh­ters each. The two Rice families main­tained a very close re­la­tion­ship and we con­tin­ued to surf and party to­gether. Steve was a for­mer mem­ber and Club Pres­i­dent of In­di­ana Board­rid­ers in Bun­bury, and notched up 18 years vol­un­tary ser­vice with the Capel Bush Fire Brigade. Steve passed away qui­etly, peace­fully but un­ex­pect­edly about mid­day on Mon­day 23rd June, 2014. He was surf­ing beau­ti­ful, clean waves with his mates and I at his fa­vorite, and home break. Ap­prox­i­mately 500 peo­ple at­tended his fu­neral ser­vice in Bun­bury on July 1. A fine crafts­man, surfer, hus­band, fa­ther, brother, un­cle and men­tor. We will miss you always. Lov­ing you for­ever. RIP Steve. Garry “Wings” Rice Be­low: WA leg­end Stephen Rice passed away do­ing what he loved.

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