If we put what happened those two weeks in Durban into perspective it is just mind blowing really.
A 15 year old grommet from your local beach, enters your local world tour event, via the trials, makes the main event, and wins every single heat and only loses to Slater in the final. Absolutely amazing!!!! Then the very next week he does exactly the same thing and loses to Parko in the final. Well that’s what happened. It happened right before my eyes and will never ever, ever happen again.
I had never ever surfed in a competition before that week, but that changed right there and then. Surfing was a school sport and I decided that I would begin to compete. At school we had to do two sports a year a winter sport and a summer sport. Rugby was compulsory we had to play rugby in winter so I decided surfing would be my summer sport. We had our school surfing competitions at Ansteys beach every Saturday morning.
Ansteys Beach, looking north to Garvies.
I did not surf at Ansteys but a kilometer up the beach at Garvies. We had a good friendly rivalry at school between our beaches and no one had ever beaten the guys from Ansteys ever. Our school had a great surfing history with Spider, Arthur, Rudi, the Spowy brothers and Brad all having surfed for South Africa and they all came from Ansteys.
By 1982 I had my Air Force One, Spider Murphy twinfin and Garvies had gained total domination of the Grosvenor Boys High School surfing bragging rights.