On this day: 17-year old MR surfs Waimea Bay closing out
28th November, 1974:
The 1974 Smirnoff Pro saw many great backstories collide in a monumental sporting event. It was the birth of professionalism with prizemoney factored against surfer safety, plus the TV networks were filming and Fred Hemmings didn't want to miss the moment, meanwhile the young Australians and South Africans were coming on hot, while the Hawaiians were yet to win a Smirnoff title leaving local pride wanting.
Lastly, of course, were the waves. "That was the biggest I'd ever seen surf. The biggest." Barry Kanaiaupuni told Sam George in a story on Surfline. "It was huge. I mean, we weren't on the beach, we were on the grass and whitewater comes up and gets us all wet."
Amongst all this energy and unfolding history a gangly 17-year old from Newcastle sullied forth...
This video is part of Australian National Surf Museum's Oral History Program.
PS: Reno Abellira won the Smirnoff that year, the first Hawaiian to take the title in what were considered the largest waves in a contest to date.