Jord an'sJ-bayJam

Tracks - - BITSA - WitDerekHynd

It's a cold and dark day here in Perth. As I look at the sea I watch the roar­ing for­ties rip apart the ocean, shift­ing sand dunes and mak­ing new sand banks. Seems like ev­ery time it’s on­shore here I know where the wind has come from and it re­minds me of South Africa.

This feel­ing came to me six months ago as I was about to fly out to Jef­fery's Bay for what would be the surf trip of a life­time. But per­haps first I should ex­plain how I came to set my sights on a trip to Africa.

A few days be­fore leav­ing I re­ceived a mes­sage from Derek Hynd say­ing, "Jor­dan, your board is ready, you can ei­ther pick it up here or freight it out." In­stantly I replied, “Yep I am com­ing over,” not even think­ing if I had enough money or would be able to get time off work.

I re­mem­ber Derek try­ing to stop me from com­ing be­cause the WSL con­test was only two weeks away and it wouldn't be worth the has­sle. I didn't care, I booked my ticket and I was off. Twenty hours of air­time and cus­toms checks later, I was in Port El­iz­a­beth, South Africa, en­tirely un­cer­tain about what I was get­ting my­self into. The only thing I had or­gan­ised was a place to stay, but that got turned up­side down when I re­ceived a mes­sage from Derek say­ing, "You can crash at my place if you like." I jumped on it and called to can­cel my pre-booked ac­com­mo­da­tion!

As I caught my ride to Derek's place I re­mem­ber I was shit­ting my­self. I was about to meet the one guy I looked up to the most". As we were about to pull up to his place I could see him sit­ting on the top floor, look­ing out for cars driv­ing by. I open the door, "Jor­dan right?" he ex­claims, and I’m just glad he re­mem­bered my name.

I threw my stuff down and paid close at­ten­tion to what Derek was about to say next. "The house rules are, this is your drink­ing cup, and that's it." It lifted a huge weight off my shoul­der see­ing how cool and friendly Derek was. As a few days went by be­fore the first gen­uine swell bump came up. I couldn't sleep all that night. It could have been the jet­lag, but I think it was more nerves. Know­ing I was go­ing to surf in front of Derek, I just didn't want to fall or do stupid shit out there.

I re­mem­ber there was so much hype around that Mick Fan­ning was in town, re­turn­ing to the scene of the in­ci­dent that fleet­ingly made pro surf­ing the most watched sport in the world. All the shark talk played on my mind, but it didn't phase Derek one bit, so that morn­ing we suited up in the pitch dark, run­ning down the street to­wards the key­hole. "It sounds big Jor­dan, Don't miss the pad­dle out what­ever you do," Derek warned. I ended up pad­dling out with­out wet­ting my hair. “You got lucky,” Derek as­sured me.

Af­ter surf­ing for a few hours I saw Fan­ning pad­dling out. The line up froze for a minute, ev­ery­one tak­ing in his next move. I must have stood out like dog nuts on a cat out there, spin­ning and slid­ing around while the pros took the wave apart. Pad­dling back up to the point I stopped half way and Fan­ning joined me.

“Where's your brother Louie?" he asked. He must have thought I was Luke, Hynd’s brother, as I was surf­ing one of Derek’s boards, or maybe it was just Mick’s way of mak­ing a joke be­cause I’ve got long hair like Louie. Af­ter we es­tab­lished I wasn't a Hynd, he asked to see the bot­tom of the board. I didn't know what to say to the world cham­pion, as I knew Derek didn't want any­one to see it. In the end I blurted out, " Look I’m sorry Mick but I just can't." He looked shocked that some­one would deny a surf­ing world champ the chance to see the bot­tom of a surf­board.

Af­ter I told Derek he couldn't stop laugh­ing. "Great stuff Jor­dan that's clas­sic," he chuck­led. Af­ter­wards he treated me to din­ner at the lo­cal restau­rant and I breathed a sigh of re­lief. It was like I did good and he could trust me.

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