Voting for the Bells Beach 50 Year Storm Invitational begins

Stu Nettle
Swellnet Dispatch

With the arrival of the first real winter swell, what better time to vote on who will compete in this years Bells Beach 50 Year Storm Invitational.

Voting is open now and finishes on May 15.

The Bells Beach 50 Year Storm Invitational honours local legend Shaun Brooks as family, friends, and the local surfing royalty paddle out for a one-day invitational contest at Bells. Shaun, a former World Junior and Victorian Open champion, took his own life in 2012 after a long battle with mental illness.

The event channels the fabled history of Bells Beach, with the name a cheeky reference to the 1991 movie Point Break, where the lead character Bodhi paddles out at Bells in the "50-year storm" never to return.

The 50 Year Storm event hasn't run the past two years as organisers held out for huge waves. However, the event's committee is committed to running the event this year and have changed the criteria to "the best big day" within the waiting period.

"When Shaun was home he was always chasing the best waves around our state," said event committee member Carlo Lowdon, "but he especially loved when his home of Bells Beach was perfect. His beautiful lines were inspirational to a lot of us in the town."

The number of surfers in the event has grown from 18 to 30, with 25 of those spots voted on by the public. The other five wildcards will be decided by the Brooks family and the 50 Year Storm Committee. It was decided to increase the number of surfers due to the number of up and coming chargers in the state.

The tight-knit Torquay surfing community and surf industry has swung behind the event. So far over $15,000 has been raised to benefit mental health programs in the local community of Torquay.

Surfers gather in commemoration of Shaun on May 17th 2017.

Public voting for the 25 surfers is open now. The voting information can be found here.

The opening ceremony for the 50 Year Storm Invitational will be held at Bells Beach on June 8th. The ceremony will feature a traditional Wathaurong welcome, the introduction of the invitees, then a paddle out and party wave for all those who wish to be involved.

The waiting period for this year's event begins on June 3 and closes August 31.

For more information please contact: Carlo Lowdon [email protected]3products.com.au

One in Five: One in five Australians suffer from a mental illness. We are striving to make one in five, none in five. Investing in research will help us find the answers to why one in five people has a mental illness.
Headspace: Headspace is the National Youth Mental Health Foundation providing early intervention mental health services to 12-25 year olds, along with assistance in promoting young peoples’ wellbeing.

Comments

Ape Anonymous's picture
Ape Anonymous's picture
Ape Anonymous commented Thursday, 9 May 2019 at 2:05pm

'Brooko' is the best, most casual big wave surfer I have ever seen footage of. 15-20 foot 2 (or is it 3??) mile, no worries - just pull in, do a massive carve and pull in again, paddle out, repeat. His mini-gun surfing in small west vicco beachies is without flaw.

Anyone want to vote me in? It'd be an honor!

Gary G's picture
Gary G's picture
Gary G commented Thursday, 9 May 2019 at 3:11pm

Gary would like to nominate Gary

You and me, Gary, ain’t nothing but mammals so let’s do it* like they do it on the aerobics channel

*faceys

Vic Local's picture
Vic Local's picture
Vic Local commented Thursday, 9 May 2019 at 4:38pm

I put you in the "who do you think should be on the list" section Gary G. A massive oversight by event organisers. Come on swellnetians. Let's get Gary G on the list and then Vote 1 for the big GG.

"angry online, smiley in the brine"

Ape Anonymous's picture
Ape Anonymous's picture
Ape Anonymous commented Thursday, 9 May 2019 at 5:03pm

Agree, Gary G should be voted for! What do you reckon, go for a 5'6" Dick Van Straalen?

Vic Local's picture
Vic Local's picture
Vic Local commented Thursday, 9 May 2019 at 5:33pm

Nice Ape. The 50 year storm needs a board from 50 years ago. Something way too short because the shortboard revolution went too far. I'd go a 5'6" Shane Standard single fin with the rounded nose. Perfect for 10-12 ft Bells.

"angry online, smiley in the brine"

Patrick's picture
Patrick's picture
Patrick commented Thursday, 9 May 2019 at 7:37pm

Would Gary G ride a 5'6" Dick? What sort of contest is this?

Gary G's picture
Gary G's picture
Gary G commented Friday, 10 May 2019 at 7:17am

Gary would do anything for love.

But he won’t do that.

You and me, Gary, ain’t nothing but mammals so let’s do it* like they do it on the aerobics channel

*faceys

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Thursday, 9 May 2019 at 5:39pm

Done.

zenagain's picture
zenagain's picture
zenagain commented Thursday, 9 May 2019 at 4:23pm

No Greg Brown on the list?

Watashi wa metabo oyagi desu.

indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming commented Thursday, 9 May 2019 at 5:22pm

He is on there...i voted for him.

zenagain's picture
zenagain's picture
zenagain commented Thursday, 9 May 2019 at 6:47pm

Cheers Indo, don't know how I missed it.

Dunno if I can vote for GaryG, I like the mystery that surrounds him (and the smell of Blue Stratos so I've been told).

Something about never meeting your heros and all that...

Watashi wa metabo oyagi desu.

Vic Local's picture
Vic Local's picture
Vic Local commented Thursday, 9 May 2019 at 4:32pm

That Poll is a fucking joke. No Ringmaster. No Gary G. It's like leaving the Ablett's out of the Cats team of the century.

"angry online, smiley in the brine"

Droppinthembombs's picture
Droppinthembombs's picture
Droppinthembombs commented Thursday, 9 May 2019 at 4:50pm

I would like to nominate Timothy O'Keeffe. He will be surfing the Tom Hoy 5 fin Claw and he will destroy!

CHICKENFORBREAKFASTLUNCHTEAANDARMAGEDDON

greyhound's picture
greyhound's picture
greyhound commented Thursday, 9 May 2019 at 5:52pm

A Gary G Spot must be found.

Vic Local's picture
Vic Local's picture
Vic Local commented Thursday, 9 May 2019 at 6:01pm

Hey Gary G. Can I be your caddy? I'd be honoured to take a 12 ft bomb on the head, hand over the spare board and then get washed across the button for you brother.

"angry online, smiley in the brine"

Ash's picture
Ash's picture
Ash commented Saturday, 11 May 2019 at 8:49pm

Garry should only go out if it's at least 1 Garry, above a Laird minimum.
Good luck Gazza, also u should be on a Garry steed for the full Garry effect.

jaunkemps's picture
jaunkemps's picture
jaunkemps commented Thursday, 9 May 2019 at 6:20pm

I'd like to nominate all of the big boy talkin upstart low ballers who've worked at the Curl for the last 20 years, it be nice to see them crying in their cars before the event start, maybe even the infamous Cat Fucker........Giddyup

goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot commented Thursday, 9 May 2019 at 6:28pm

You on the list viclocal?

factotum's picture
factotum's picture
factotum commented Thursday, 9 May 2019 at 7:15pm

Jeff Rowley and Maurice Cole death-match!

sharkman's picture
sharkman's picture
sharkman commented Monday, 13 May 2019 at 7:13am

already happened in the courts , haha!

x

goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot commented Thursday, 9 May 2019 at 7:18pm

Good to see the Peninsula’s biggest balled mad-dog on the list too

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Thursday, 9 May 2019 at 7:22pm

Skeet?

goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot commented Thursday, 9 May 2019 at 8:09pm

Yep

Itsmemickyb's picture
Itsmemickyb's picture
Itsmemickyb commented Sunday, 12 May 2019 at 8:00pm

haha what about josh morgan?

goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot commented Sunday, 12 May 2019 at 8:14pm

Boogie board?

Bnkref's picture
Bnkref's picture
Bnkref commented Thursday, 9 May 2019 at 7:45pm

I see there are a few Marks on the list. Does that include the Mark that surfs Bells all the time? Usually gets the pick of the bombs. Rides a big yellow gun.

Bella Wilson and Angela Ball will be getting a vote from me. Paddling out on a huge day a few years back when there were 14 or so.

Vic Local's picture
Vic Local's picture
Vic Local commented Thursday, 9 May 2019 at 8:43pm

"Bella Wilson and Angela Ball will be getting a vote from me."
Second that Bnkref. You could add a few other girls from Vic to that list. In fact, I'd say Victorian girls charge harder than 94% of Queensland blokes and 98% of Brazzos.

"angry online, smiley in the brine"

Gary G's picture
Gary G's picture
Gary G commented Friday, 10 May 2019 at 7:16am

Gary reckons Luke Hynes the kneelo deserves a shout from that giant day 2 years ago. Absolutely dominated early when it was super raw.

You and me, Gary, ain’t nothing but mammals so let’s do it* like they do it on the aerobics channel

*faceys

Bnkref's picture
Bnkref's picture
Bnkref commented Friday, 10 May 2019 at 7:25am

Nice Gary. You come across as a man that likes variety.

Vic Local's picture
Vic Local's picture
Vic Local commented Friday, 10 May 2019 at 7:55am

That cripple definitely deserves a jersey. That was the biggest day I can remember and he dominated Winki while Robbo owned Bells. Vic Local is not too proud to say he did a fair bit on family time and household chores until mid morning when it became a little less threatening. Qdos to the nutters who paddled out for the dawnie.

"angry online, smiley in the brine"

Gary G's picture
Gary G's picture
Gary G commented Friday, 10 May 2019 at 8:27am

Gary rocked up in the dark and a set closed out from Bells to Winki! Drove around for a bit then watched the show of people who were made of sterner stuff. Hynes was taking air drops at bells before tagging one past the button and moving down to Winki. Incredible surfing in very challenging conditions.

Gary surfed a nearby point around lunchtime and got a couple before a broken leash sent him in. Some real energy in the ocean that day.

You and me, Gary, ain’t nothing but mammals so let’s do it* like they do it on the aerobics channel

*faceys

Bnkref's picture
Bnkref's picture
Bnkref commented Friday, 10 May 2019 at 11:33am

Yeah the kneelo was dominating that day.

I stayed dry but it was something else watching on from the cliffs. I've got a video on my phone of what must be a 15ft set cleaning up everyone around 9am. A couple of the waves in that set were feathering over 1km out to sea! Probably won't ever see anything like it again.

tango's picture
tango's picture
tango commented Tuesday, 14 May 2019 at 6:33pm

Second that.

Walk around G's picture
Walk around G's picture
Walk around G commented Saturday, 11 May 2019 at 1:39pm

Yeh, Brandamati is on the list. He's great at reading the line-up and as you stated, makes good use of the mega bombs.

velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno commented Thursday, 9 May 2019 at 8:47pm
ryder's picture
ryder's picture
ryder commented Friday, 10 May 2019 at 9:19am

Margo

truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher commented Friday, 10 May 2019 at 11:19am

Unna Strayen for Vic Local to charge Qldurz with 98% foreign muck...
94% Qld blokes are hard & fast behind Gary G....d'd'd'don't you worry 'bout that!

garyg1412's picture
garyg1412's picture
garyg1412 commented Friday, 10 May 2019 at 1:10pm

Who's this Gary G imposter and what's with the Blue Stratos. Seems like he might like hang gliding more than surfing!!! Might have to switch to Old Spice before he gets the real garyg vote!!!
:)
:)
:)

Gary G's picture
Gary G's picture
Gary G commented Sunday, 12 May 2019 at 2:18am

Gary is a lot of things to a lot of people.

As long as what those people want is Gary.

You and me, Gary, ain’t nothing but mammals so let’s do it* like they do it on the aerobics channel

*faceys

jaykaaden's picture
jaykaaden's picture
jaykaaden commented Friday, 10 May 2019 at 1:36pm

Gary when I was a grommet I heard there was a carton of beer on offer for anybody who caught a wave from Bells past the Winkipop button.

Divstevens's picture
Divstevens's picture
Divstevens commented Friday, 10 May 2019 at 7:22pm

What about a stand up paddle boarder? I am happy to be included.

Vic Local's picture
Vic Local's picture
Vic Local commented Friday, 10 May 2019 at 10:24pm

SUP? Where’s my gun? And I’m not talking about a surfboard for big waves.

"angry online, smiley in the brine"

truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher commented Friday, 10 May 2019 at 11:45pm

tbb salutes those here being serious & crew would be honoured to vote for them.
Ape Anonymous / Vic Local / Divstevens...& maybe Gary G all talk the talk?

I checked vote worthy option & voters can combo swellnet surfers over 3 lines.
Good as done! So tell yer Local- Swellnet nominated you as #1 Gun...(Well it's True!)

hamishbro's picture
hamishbro's picture
hamishbro commented Saturday, 11 May 2019 at 2:29pm

Hilarious thread.

Spuddups's picture
Spuddups's picture
Spuddups commented Tuesday, 14 May 2019 at 5:41am

I'm holding out for the 100 year storm. 50 year storms are for amateurs.

Vic Local's picture
Vic Local's picture
Vic Local commented Tuesday, 14 May 2019 at 4:18pm

"50 year storms are for amateurs."

And they are so common too. We had one for the comp. 2 the year before and 3 in 2017.

"angry online, smiley in the brine"

Spuddups's picture
Spuddups's picture
Spuddups commented Wednesday, 15 May 2019 at 5:13am

Yeah, they're more like 50 minute storms these days. We had an actual 50 year storm here in 1968. No one's ever seen anything like it since. Looks like we could be due for another some time soon.