Voting for The Bells Beach 50 Year Storm Invitational begins

Swellnet Dispatch

With the postponement of the Rip Curl Pro this year, we thought there was no better time to reach out to the broader surfing community and start the voting for the Bells Beach 50 Year Storm Invitational 2020.

At a time when we are normally all together in Torquay, watching the Bells event and socialising over the Easter long weekend, we decided to open up the voting via Survey Monkey, thereby creating connections between surfers (albeit digitally) for an event we all hold dear.

Voting is open now and will finish on Midnight Friday, May 1, 2020.

We hope to run the event later in the year if ‘stay at home’ measures are eased, but we may also be only open to those from 3228 postcode. Our normal waiting period would be 1 June - 13 September 2020. Our Opening Ceremony will also be postponed due to the limit on gatherings.

The Bells Beach 50 Year Storm Invitational will see local legend Shaun Brooks honoured, as a field of family, friends, local surfing royalty and big-wave chargers 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.

Mental health should be in the forefront of all our minds with the current worldwide lockdown to stop the spread of Coronavirus. Isolation is one of the things that brings out the demons in all of us. Depression and anxiety will be widespread due to social distancing, loss of income and the spread of the virus on loved ones. Talk to your mates, and ask the hard questions. Please, if you feel this way, reach out to your friends or one of our partners for help.

Surfing is currently allowed, but only if it is required daily physical exercise. It may also be limited further, so please follow the government's advice.

The 50 Year Storm event has been unsuccessful in running for the past three years. As the event is about mental illness awareness and sharing, the events’ committee is committed to running the event later in the year. We have changed the official event running conditions to "the best big day" in the waiting period.

The number of surfers in the event has grown from 18 to 30, with 25 spots voted on by the public. The other five wildcards will be decided by the Brooks family and the 50 Year Storm Committee.

Shaun Brooks surfing in the 90s (Photo Steve Ryan)

The tight-knit Torquay surfing community and surf industry has embraced the event. So far, over $20,000 has been raised to benefit mental health programs in the local community of Torquay. The event channels the fabled history of Bells Beach, with the name a cheeky reference to the 1991 cult movie, Point Break, where the lead character Bodhi paddles out at Bells in the "50-year storm," never to return.

Public voting for the 25 surfers is now open. You can vote by clicking here.

The waiting period for this year's event begins on June 1 and closes September 13, 2020.

For more information please contact: Carlo Lowdon

One in Five: Investing in research will help us find the answers to why one in five people suffer from a mental illness. We are striving to make one in five, none in five.

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

neilridgway's picture
neilridgway's picture
neilridgway commented Tuesday, 14 Apr 2020 at 9:24am

A great initiative in memory of a fantastic surfer. Hope it gets a 12 footer for it after lockdown.

goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot commented Tuesday, 14 Apr 2020 at 10:12am

I feel they’ve blown it by not running over the last couple of years, there’s been some pumping big days.

There’s some incredible footage of Shaun surfing down the coast that’s worth looking up.

Fatso's picture
Fatso's picture
Fatso commented Tuesday, 14 Apr 2020 at 11:23am

Strange. I hadn't heard of this event previously (that's not the strange bit). Obviously a great initiative. As a bloke who has struggled with mental health over many years, I'll support anything like this, so I put my votes in. But being a relatively poorly travelled WAussie I hadn't heard of most of the people on the list. The strange bit for me is that given the above, my might votes should have any value...I don't quite see it

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Tuesday, 14 Apr 2020 at 1:18pm

Reckon the vast majority of votes will come from within Vicco, even from within the Surf Coast region, so that'll balance things out somewhat, but I also reckon it's unreal to include the public like this.

If the comp runs and your surfer is out there then you'll know you played a part in making it happen.

goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot commented Tuesday, 14 Apr 2020 at 12:31pm

Although I’d like to see Rasta surf big bells, why’s he on the list?

vicco11's picture
vicco11's picture
vicco11 commented Tuesday, 14 Apr 2020 at 1:10pm

Hey goofyfoot, his dad took his own life unfortunately so that's probably why Rasta is apart of it. Plus he's a legend in the surf community and rips.

goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot commented Tuesday, 14 Apr 2020 at 1:43pm

Understand your second and third point but didn’t know about the first. And that makes sense. Thanks

Oceanbeach's picture
Oceanbeach's picture
Oceanbeach commented Tuesday, 14 Apr 2020 at 2:05pm

Anyone know who won the last one of these and when it was?

geek's picture
geek's picture
geek commented Tuesday, 14 Apr 2020 at 3:51pm

Hasn’t ever run. Their 1st waiting period (2017?) had the biggest and cleanest swell in a decade just as the waiting period opened but they didn’t run it for some reason

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Tuesday, 14 Apr 2020 at 4:01pm

That one was a bit of an oversight, wasn't it?

Great swell, but it sounds like they've learned from it.

Vic Local's picture
Vic Local's picture
Vic Local commented Tuesday, 14 Apr 2020 at 4:58pm

That swell was seriously big and Adam Robertson owned Bells that day. He was taking off way deeper on the biggest sets and carved some huge turns. Young fella called Darcy was also really comfortable out in the big stuff.

"angry online, smiley in the brine"

OHV500's picture
OHV500's picture
OHV500 commented Thursday, 16 Apr 2020 at 1:04pm

Darcy is a very good surfer out at Bells, bloody good shaper as well :)
Another MC prodigy.

bipola's picture
bipola's picture
bipola commented Tuesday, 14 Apr 2020 at 7:06pm

i only got Wayne Lynch and Simon Anderson and the two, Egan brothers, was Ross Clark Jones there

mikehunt207's picture
mikehunt207's picture
mikehunt207 commented Tuesday, 14 Apr 2020 at 7:16pm

Rhino, one of the best big wave surfers in Vicco for sure. Not one of the Torcool crowd though so hopefully politics dont play (like they have done every other surfing event in history) part of the invites selection.

mrkook's picture
mrkook's picture
mrkook commented Tuesday, 14 Apr 2020 at 9:06pm

Last year when I put my worthy mate, extreme Pete up for selection he wasn’t put in the list. Is it just a quasi democratic process? This man is great in big surf, and can even do a backflip from standing whilst holding a beer and not spill a drop. He also helped a wombat give birth once, he’s worth a look.

MK

Pupkin's picture
Pupkin's picture
Pupkin commented Wednesday, 15 Apr 2020 at 4:19pm

I'd like to see Maurice & Jeff Rowley mano a mano.

I also suggested the other Simon thruster rider at Bells 81. Well, he probably was...

Warren Powell!

Numbatt's picture
Numbatt's picture
Numbatt commented Tuesday, 14 Apr 2020 at 10:38pm

I’m all for mentalness. Great reasoning. Thanks for your help.

truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher commented Wednesday, 15 Apr 2020 at 8:52am

We mental people thank swellnet & crew. Seriously! tbb wouldn't joke about that!

Bells question that drives tbb mad...been racking my brains over this conundrum.

Q: In what year did Bells first rake in gate takings & under who's Authority?
(eg: 1977 GC $tubbies walled up B'Hds NP/ Surfing Reserve to charge the public!)

tbb can only track Bells to $8 @ 2003' but thinks it was way earlier > Beginning?
Crew could then better argue the value of Pro Surfing / Athletes Events in Reserves.
Backtracking Pro Surfer & Reserves values is vitally important for future all surfers!
Big Wigs have that intel, but tbb argues it powers up the crew to equally know this!

Gatekeeper & takings would seriously help with Surfing Reserve Legislation. Thanx!
https://www.swellnet.com/news/surfpolitik/2020/03/04/queensland-gets-ser...

Crew deserve a Bonus twisted tbb Bells Question that'll drive the crew insane...
This one is for the Local Vics (Tip...You may have read about this surfer recently)

Q: Which Bells Finalist competed in 2013 Surfing Vic' Rip Curl Flow surfing Comp?

(Hint) Same Pioneering Oz Pool surfer just ran the most recent Oz Wave Pool comp.

https://www.vichealth.vic.gov.au/media-and-resources/media-releases/team...
https://www.surfingaustralia.com/SurfingVictoria/news/PoolParty2020Update

Vic Local's picture
Vic Local's picture
Vic Local commented Wednesday, 15 Apr 2020 at 9:31am

I was at the '93 comp and there was a per person entry fee collected on the road as people drove in.
There was five in the Kombi (three hiding under boards and camping equipment). The guy charging, said "Two people?" and the driver cracked straight away.

"angry online, smiley in the brine"

truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher commented Wednesday, 15 Apr 2020 at 4:01pm

Much appreciated Vic Local...
It took tbb ages to track back to 2003 Ticket.
Crew took an hour to travel back the next decade to '93. (Win)

1980's + Roadside toll & sneaks might open another avenue.
With '93 Bells Booth Worker in pursuit, be there in no time.
That's a lot of interest Vic Local...Toll guy be after yer house'n'all.

1977 Stubbies had High Hessian Fencing Man!... $1 single entry/exit
You could scramble down top of the Point but Security cop it a mile away!
Gromz Gauntlet > Rock Pool Trail in front of The Baths..(This time for sure!)

Vic Local's picture
Vic Local's picture
Vic Local commented Wednesday, 15 Apr 2020 at 4:04pm

If you want to discuss tolls and Bells, you'd be happy to know the road in to Bells from Torquay / Jan Juc is probably the first privately owned toll road in the country. Joe Sweeney (the legend that made the Bells trophies for decades) rented a bulldozer for 30 pounds in the early 1960s and widened an existing track. He charged 1 pound per surfer until the money was recouped. There was a three page list of who paid the pound but unfortunately one page got eaten by mice, so there's only 21 names on the list. The remainder of the document is at the surfing museum.

"angry online, smiley in the brine"

truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher commented Wednesday, 15 Apr 2020 at 10:32pm

Extremely happy...Vic Local...That's above & beyond!
Doubt if we Qldurrz would've found that out...owe you one!
Thought it might have been from day one for the Comp?

Epic Surf Story!

tbb is reading Bell's was originally a private entry Surf Reserve...
We'll you'd have to drive with the heavier boards...no other decent way in.

1963-65 cost 1 pound > (2020 = $30 approx) That's exclusive!
Who here would Pay $30 to surf their local point?

Balance's picture
Balance's picture
Balance commented Wednesday, 15 Apr 2020 at 9:44am

Someone asked if Ross Clarke Jones is on the list...yes he is, hope he can avoid an encounter with the rocks, unlike his Nazare adventure

Also wondering if John Monie got a mention...ex Parramatta coach...growing up I heard it said quite often he had ridden the biggest ever wave at bells...I have no idea if it's true. I guess he is too old now...maybe his son could surf in his place or something? That would be a pretty fun concept for the older guys...and in keeping with the Anzac spirit??

boxright's picture
boxright's picture
boxright commented Wednesday, 15 Apr 2020 at 9:44am

Voting done. Good luck to all.

Robwilliams's picture
Robwilliams's picture
Robwilliams commented Wednesday, 15 Apr 2020 at 6:18pm

the brooks video. classic gashing.

GuySmiley's picture
GuySmiley's picture
GuySmiley commented Wednesday, 15 Apr 2020 at 9:30pm

Entry fee to Bells? I used drive in via the back road to avoid paying. Worked a treat in the early years.

The police used to block the most direct road in from Torquay and search the cars for, well they never said what they were looking for but they never found ours.

Early surf movie, single fin days, can’t remember the name but can remember being totally dumbfounded by the size, featuring huge bells, story goes Ted Bainbridge former co-owner of Peninsula Surf, was one of the first out.

ken.vincent's picture
ken.vincent's picture
ken.vincent commented Thursday, 16 Apr 2020 at 1:35pm

In times past - Stop at the toll gate, point to your ASA (Australian Surfriders Association) transfer ( like the old rego transfers, wet em, & slide off backing), and the guy waves you on through like Queen Elizabeth herself. Didn't matter how many in the car!. What privelege, what memories!.

truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher commented Thursday, 16 Apr 2020 at 3:32pm

tbb first thought WSL or Council were a bit mean for hitting up Bell's locals.
Went back to see ASP taking a slice & thought...hello! This is getting murky.

Well outta tbb's jurisdiction...gotta phone Tracy now...ACA TV Poll will decide.

Vice like Mobsters nod Bagmen to handout freebie Bells Stickerz for Roadblock Cops.
Bells Underbelly harbours illegal backdoor entries & People smugglers & Forgers.

tbb is also tipping off Chanel 9 Underbelly " The Bells Toll Booth"

1960's Royal Waverz vs Locked Out
1970's Skegz vs Dealers
1980's [LOCALS ONLY]
1990's Ours vs Theirs
2000's Us vs Them
2020 STFAH vs Postcode Bandits
2020 Border Hopperz vs Plate Haterz

Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean commented Friday, 17 Apr 2020 at 7:52pm

Napalm !