On This Day: Luke Egan wins the last Quiksilver Pro G'Land

Stu Nettle
The Rearview Mirror

On 8th June 1997 the last Quiksilver Pro G'Land was won by Luke Egan who beat Chris Gallagher at six foot Speedies.

Though they weren't the first top-tier contests in Indonesia - the Om Bali Pro, held in 1981 and 1982, took that title - the Quiksilver Pro G'land comps of the mid-90s represented a shift in focus for pro surfing and were the blueprint of the soon-to-be realised Dream Tour.

Except for the Hawaiian events, the modus operandi for surf contests had been to put bums on seats at a big name city beach. It had been this way since the pro tour began in 1976, much to the displeasure of competitors.

In 1992 Al Hunt and Sid Cassidy redesigned the qualifying process and split the tour in two, the Qualifying Series and Championship Tour, thereby sowing the seeds of the Dream Tour. Top tier contests no longer had to cater for 100+ surfers, but just a select few - at first a Top 44, then a Top 32.

Contests could now focus on showcasing the very best surfing, not slowly whittling down numbers from the Round of 164. Shortly thereafter Quiksilver had the spark to take the concept one step further and feature the very best surfing in the very best waves. From the get go they took it to its logical conclusion, removing all spectators and replacing them with a stripped down crew of staff and media. Thus was the Quiksilver Pro G'Land born.

In 1995, Kelly Slater beat Jeff Booth to claim the inaugural event, then in 1996 Shane Beschen beat Kong, and on the 8th June 1997 - 21 years ago today - Luke Egan won.

For three years the Quik Pro was held in early June and it always scored great waves. In fact, records show they barely had any lay days.

By 1998 the Asian financial crisis halted the G'Land contests. However, Quik didn't let the idea die, they simply shifted their focus to the South Pacific and in 1999 the first Quiksilver Pro Fiji ran. It occupied the same early June window with the same concept: no spectators, just staff and media beaming the images out via the rudimentary World Wide Web. The 1999 tour also included the first CT at Teahupoo with the Dream Tour concept becoming more than one lone event.

Comments

Mango Carafino's picture
Mango Carafino's picture
Mango Carafino commented Friday, 8 Jun 2018 at 10:55pm

Memories of how great is was seldom dilute the reality of crappy the WSL has become.

John Eyre's picture
John Eyre's picture
John Eyre commented Saturday, 9 Jun 2018 at 11:30am

The footage there is not the year 1997.............these waves at g-land were the best barrels most pro surfers had seen.....but just then they uncovered teahupoo......and then g-land was left alone somewhat?........where is the footage of the luke Egan year 1997?

tworules's picture
tworules's picture
tworules commented Sunday, 10 Jun 2018 at 7:33pm

we rocked up not long after, that season, what a place, i'd studied metaphysical and everything was as planned, hope it still gets that good

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo commented Sunday, 10 Jun 2018 at 7:53pm

G Land Clip Collection Dave Scard - You Tube
Some absolute Mongrel waves !

Pete7's picture
Pete7's picture
Pete7 commented Wednesday, 13 Jun 2018 at 11:37am

Yer udo that's some good surfing alright
So casual and a perfect read on it

Pete7

NickT's picture
NickT's picture
NickT commented Thursday, 14 Jun 2018 at 12:28pm

Probably the best collection of barrels at G-Land i've seen on youtube, mice find Udo. For anyone else... link is

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s6ypWhypuBU

lostdoggy's picture
lostdoggy's picture
lostdoggy commented Sunday, 10 Jun 2018 at 8:10pm

I remember recording the highlights of this contest, the 97 one, on to VHS from the telly.
It was quite a good, detailed feature. Had interviews with Luke. Thanked his Dad for the amazing boards he made for him.
The waves looked amazing.

I think I taped it off a show called NRG ( I think that's what it was called). Maybe Tim Bailey was the host?

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo commented Sunday, 10 Jun 2018 at 8:23pm

Tommy Carrol walking around camp interviewing the surfers
is that the one ?
Pat OConnell rode a 5'11 or something very short.

crg's picture
crg's picture
crg commented Sunday, 10 Jun 2018 at 8:46pm

When I think of Luke Egan these days all I can remember is his ill fated commentary at Pipe for Mick's last world title. A few seconds to go and Mick turns and paddles for a last wave needing a score and Louie proclaims with absolute authority "...it's not the one, it's not the wave" only for Mick to roll in to a deep pit, get spat out and claim the title. Deafening silence from him afterwards. Hahaha...

lostdoggy's picture
lostdoggy's picture
lostdoggy commented Sunday, 10 Jun 2018 at 8:53pm

Nah, wasn't that one udo.

yogii's picture
yogii's picture
yogii commented Friday, 15 Jun 2018 at 5:05pm

This was the one with Tom Carroll walking around the camp - was one of my favourite videos of all time. Would love to get my hands on it again: http://a.co/7v4cs4n

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