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August - Point Score                                                                        Written by Danny McGaw

The Crescent Head Malibu Club was proud and happy to host a competition event with a team from the Hearing Impaired Surfing Association. The guys that visited us were all heroes in our eyes and, by the way, they prefer to be called deaf surfers. This was the inaugural event to pave the way for a contest to attract deaf surfers from all over Australasia, to meet, greet and compete in a contest for themselves and importantly, run by themselves.


Me good old mate Fergo designated me as the official meeter and greeter, I was happy to. Fergo says to communicate with pen and paper to make it easier for everyone. Shit, I don’t know what hell he was thinking!!! Giving me a pen and paper is like giving Chopper Read a pair of toe-cutters!


Friday morning, armed with pen and paper, I walked along the point and found the lads eagerly checking the surf. Fergo had given me the only greeting and response to use that he knew in the Auslan sign language. The first was the sign “Hello” and the other was “Get F#%ked”. I spose good old Fergo was covering both eventualities, depending on how my meet and greet went. He thinks of everything, you know. Thankfully, the “hello” sign worked fine, so scrub the other. Great guys, the whole lot of them. Super friendly and glad to be in Cresso.


We traded written messages for part of the time but our surfer stoke got us all through in the end and everyone was looking forward to the upcoming comp on Sunday.


I met Steve White, aka Whitey, a larger than life figure, built like a brick shithouse with long, blonde hair and beard. He was the meeter and greeter for his mob of stoked longboarders. After a small chat, Whitey asks me what sorta boards were allowed in the comp. I told him. Whitey was disappointed, he evidently wanted to ride an SUP in his heat!!!!


Blame Fergo for this. In my trademark style, I wrote “You ride an SUP in the heat and we’ll pull you outta the water and beat ya with the paddle!” Everyone laughed, so it actually went down well.


Hey, if Whitey and his mates laugh at what I write, then they’re bonzer blokes in my book. Instant buddies. I told Whitey I’d learn Auslan for next year’s meet and greet. Ha, seeing as I’m all thumbs, that should be interesting but I’ll do me best regardless. At time of writing this, Whitey has already sent me a web-link to my first lesson. Thanks Whitey. 


At 7 am, the skies were battle-ship grey, hung with sagged, clouded drapes as the Sun searched for its path, then gave up. A lazy, chilly, southerly breeze couldn’t help itself and blew right through ya instead of going around ya. Is it me getting older or is every year getting colder?


It was great to meet the deaf surfers again. Difficulties in language were overcome with lots of smiles and laughs. We all knew what we were here for … fun in the Sun! Oh well, forget the Sun because there wasn’t any, but fun was had regardless.  


We kicked off at 8 am. The waves were fairly clean 3 to 4 foot with 6 foot bombs as the tide ran out.


Heat 1 goes down as a classic. Benard Olde, now known as The Undertaker, screamed across a good sized, smooth face performing a perfect coffin-ride. The Undertaker in perfect control, right in the hook on a beautiful wave.


Bloody hell, then he caps it off with a rare one. “What’s he doin’??” the judge next to me says. “A near perfect Quasimodo”, I cry out, while blinking back a nostalgic tear.


A few minutes later, same heat, Bobbie Standing did it … a classic, beautifully balanced headstand. It was a bloody ripper!!! Poise and grace. It got its due share of cheers and laughs. It deserved it!


Well waddya know, Both Bob and Undertaker musta taken note of what I wrote about them in the last report. Like a miracle, it bloody well worked. On the basis of that, I wanna try another quick experiment in miracles:


Fergo, read the following carefully:


“Fergo, you are now a much better surfer …..............................”


Nah, didn’t work at all. Next.


Stewart Clayton, had a nice long ride but had to pull out to avoid collecting a loose board. He did get a bloody nice wave though.


Heat 2 was a good one too. Paul POD O’Donnell dominated the field getting some very nice sized waves from Surge through Racetrack. I might put money on him yet.


Jodie Fowler’ first wave was a good-sized set but like others found conditions against her during her heat. This prevented her from presenting the powerhouse style we are used to seeing.


Billy Sorrell had a shocker !! He was totally outta form, a shot duck. The changeable conditions had him chasing waves all over the place. Crescent was playing with the poor bastard. Bill’s a strong, seasoned performer but like lots of guys and gals on the day, Cresso was against them.


Michael Goldworth gave it a shot and hooked a nice wave to give his determined efforts a nice reward. Another smile on the dial, for one of our new friends.


Sarah Willock, one the club’s new breed, really found conditions difficult but it didn’t stop her trying twirlies, up and downs and some things I don’t just don’t know what they were. What the heck, she’s good and she’s competitive to the max.


The conditions were still getting in the way as Heat 3 smacked into the water. Now here was an interesting heat, all good surfers in their various ways.


There was Bruce Mumbles Cunliffe, what a gutsy surfer! Mumbles just muscled his way through sections and attacked the waves like Flipper on steroids. It was good.  


As strong as ever, Peter Lobbe didn’t hold back as he bagged a brace of nice waves. Pete’s one of club’s new mainstays. In fact, he’s our new secret weapon we’re not telling anyone about. Ooops … looks like that cat’s outta the bag. Sorry fella’s.


Jack Norton didn’t get any long waves but cripes he was hanging five, then ten, then heels over on wave after wave. He threw in some classic drop knees to top off a very artful performance. It was beautiful to watch.


Joe Casey charged a nice wave all the way down the point. That kept him smiling and that’s what it’s all about. He got his payday.


By Heat 4, the best to say of the conditions was that it was uncrowded. Good waves did come through every so often but they were rarer than a bacon sandwich in old Baghdad. And when they did appear, it was just a horrible battle getting one.


Regardless of conditions, Big Daddy Tony Willock found his form and ripped into it. A good performance by another of the club’s strengths.


Me mate Fergo, surprised everyone by walking to the nose and crouching very stylishly to get high points. Fergs was another strong performer with a nice long ride to prove the point. See, I can be nice ……….. sorta.


Conditions were against Max Stillbeck. Another shocker from a good surfer. Cresso can be cruel at times and it was many times this day to many surfers.


The only one’s having a total ball out there were the dolphins. They were charging the larger waves that missed the point with three or four dolphins on the same wave. Bloody awesome!!! They actually won the day, hands down.


Heat 5 had a hard act to follow, but the show went on.


Maria Johnson was a welcome appearance in what I believe may have been her contest debut for our club. Well done Maria. The gal had some fine waves, showing grace and confidence where others struggled to find form.


Dundee, the new dark horse. His first wave was a shocker but everyone after it, counted. He’s a very consistent competitor who’ll do the club, and himself, proud in future comps.


Big Stevie White, left his SUP on the racks and tried it on with a longboard instead. Whitey gave a gutsy display of himself in the short waves thrown his way.


At last, one fair wave came through, and Matthew Moore was onto it like a ferret. A nicely ridden wave that put another smile on a new friend’s face.


Everyone was about ready to call it a day so two old mal heats to go and that’s it. It’s great fun but its great fun when it’s over too. To save time, in the fast deteriorating conditions, it was decided to put the last two heats in together but judged seperately.


The guys dragged the old mals out over the rocks and launched them into the line-up. The waves were inconsistent and the wind onshore, it wasn’t great.


Those old mals handled it well, the extra weight helping the guys surf through the mushy whitewater with relative ease.


Stewart Clayton claimed a nice long ride after snagging a short gutless one earlier in the heat. I know he was smiling after that one.


You know, I reckon, the visitor’s team should be nicknamed the “Smileys”. I don’t know if it was the odd good wave they’d caught or just relief to get outta the water that had them smiling, but smiling they were. It got us smiling too.


A determined Big Daddy Willock surfed his old mal well with a good first ride and some nice nose work thrown in. I don’t know who gives who tips, Sarah or Big Daddy? They should sort it out in the same heat one day. Now, that’d be something to see.


Time-bomb, Mumbles Cunliffe blew everyone away with his usual standard of strong surfing on the best of the worse waves that snuck through. He’s great to watch and handled the old mal a treat.


Good old Mumbles, is still marking his territory in the line-up. Like a boil on ya face, ya can’t miss it, Mumbles has no-go, comfort zone in the lineup of a good 35 feet all round him. It’s like a living force field, ya can actually feel it. The friendly face of Crescent Head. God help us!


Peter Lobbe showed his consistently, strong form with yet more powerhouse surfing to dazzle the masses. He’s a goofy-foot but handles the backside waves brilliantly.


Jack Norton, also a consistently good surfer, walked the walk and did tip time on his old mal while The Undertaker, Benard Olde, snagged a nice big set and slipped into a bloody beautiful coffin ride to cap it all off. They’re two traditionalists worth watching and I did.


POD couldn’t find form but was no doubt content with his waves in the earlier heat. I might just put a bob on him yet as an outside chance. The sloppy waves defeated him, not his surfing.


Ricky Carr scored himself a good long ride on a half decent wave. A rarity, considering it was mostly wind blown crap breaking all over the place. Well done Ricky, nice wave, nice ride.


The flag went up and it was all over, red rover.


Everyone was in a great mood as we all wound down the contest site. The deaf surfers were still smiling and, being infectious, had us all smiling as well. Lotsa pics were taken and then all we waved “see ya later” and the day ended brilliantly despite grey skies.


This year, all of our new friends woulda been taking careful note of how to handle the Crescent Head lineup, just like we all did at Cresso when we first paddled out there. Being new visitors they wouldna had the savvy like the locals do. You know things like where best to sit on what tides, avoiding Mumble’s territorial zone, knowing which waves will miss the point and thunder through Racetrack etc etc. Yep, all that and heaps more but trial and error gets ya there in the end.


Next year, the deaf surfers are gonna come back here stronger, more experienced and start taking their fair share of waves. They’ll also have a lot more Cresso savvy under their belts.


The deaf surfers have left some comments with me they’d like printed. No worries, they appear straight after the comp placings, so everyone have a read.


Heat 1, Modern Mal.


  1. Bob Standing

  2. Benard Olde

  3. Stewart Clayton

  4. Ricky Carr


Heat 2, Modern Mal


  1. Paul O’Donnell

  2. Sarah Willock

  3. Bill Sorrell

  4. Michael Goldworth


Heat 3, Modern Mal


  1. Bruce Cunliffe

  2. Peter Lobbe

  3. Jack Norton

  4. Joe Casey


Heat 4, Modern Mal


  1. Tony Willock

  2. Max Stillbeck

  3. Fergo




Heat 5, Modern Mal


  1. Dundee

  2. Maria Johnson

  3. Steve White

  4. Matthew Moore



Heat 6, Old Mal


  1. Bruce Cunliffe

  2. Max Stillbeck

  3. Stewart Clayton


Heat 7, Old Mal


  1. Jack Norton

  2. Peter Lobbe

  3. Benard Olde

  4. Paul O’Donnell

  5. Ricky Carr


Placings for the deaf surfers:


  1. Joe Casey

  2. Stewart Clayton

  3. Ricky Carr

  4. Steve White

  5. Matthew Moore

  6. Michael Goldworth




The deaf surfers had some very nice things to say about our club and it’s members so please read the following testimonials from some very happy surfers.


Steve Whitey White from Wollongong:


I’m very pleased that Fergo came to me and discussed proposed combined event between Crescent Head Mal Club and deaf longboarder members. I believe its good for deaf surfers to mix with the hearing for fun and good times together.


Fergo is a great guy to talk with and as well as being an easy going guy.  I really enjoyed the comp day with CHMC. Next year will be a much bigger and better event with Australia wide deaf surfers attending.


Great to get to know the true local surfers and make good friendships. Danny is a great guy too. So is paul O’Donnell and Max etc.


Ricky Carr from Newcastle:


I was impressed by the Crescent Head Mal Club. Hearing and deaf people combined surfing is great fun. Great opportunity for the future. Thank you very much.


Joe Casey from Newcastle wrote:


Yeah, having a great time meeting everyone. Awesome waves! Thank you for organising a great event with us. Cheers, see ya again next year.


Stewart Clayton from Bankstown:


Nice people, great time meeting everyone. Crescent Head comp is fun. See ya again next year for surf.


 Matthew Moore from Wollongong:


I was very impressed about the Crescent Head surf which was perfect waves nearly all day. I surfed about 30 years ago as a young surfer and came back to surfing through the deaf guys. I thank Steve White for asking me to join them and to get to know them.


This was my first competition surf and I found it very interesting how it worked. I thank the local crescent Head guys for organising the surf comp. Many thanks.


Michael Goldworth from Newcastle:


I’m impressed with the longboarders organisation at Crescent Head, it’s a special place for longboarders to surf. I’m loving it. Hats off to Steve White for bringing deaf and hearing together. Thank you.




Disclaimer:  The above report is written with a fair amount of writer's licence, i.e. not all the tales in the report are as they seem, not all people in the report are as they have been depicted, not all scenarios are exactly as happened. I leave it up to the reader's common sense to sift out the truth from the false. I write with the motto, "Never let the truth get in the way of a good story," and so be it.


The views expressed in this report are those of the author and may not be those of the Crescent Head Malibu Club.

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