Sunday, May 24, 2009

Now what the hell am I doing sitting in front of the bloody computer on a Sunday afternoon?

Well, Victoria is a place of extremes, and today it is flatter than last weeks bubbly, which is a bit of a bummer as we have cause to celebrate.

On waking this morning I was greeted by an email..

Back two steps..

On being woken this morning by Richie leaving a message saying he can't be bothered today as it's... (the bit about flat above), I checked the emails on the Mac and there before me was one from our agent en France, Franck Bywalski of X-treme Video
informing me Musica Surfica had won Best Picture at the International Surf Film Festival in St Jean de Luz, and had also won Best Surfer (Derek Hynd) as well as Best Soundtrack.

So instead of going surfing I whipped in to the office to rejig the rejig of our cover getting ready for the next print run of the DVD/CD pack.

And to top if off and make it a bit more tasty too, we have a special sneak preview from Jack McCoys upcoming opus.

The pics, then, today, are the lineup of winners at the presentation last night in France, with Franck just left of centre holding a whopping big Trophy, and the new cover, festooned with wreaths.

To all involved in making it, thanks my friends, and if you haven't bought a copy yet, now there's even more incentive.

Now where's that bubbly?

Monday, May 18, 2009

I love a little adventure, and yesterday it was exhausting fun as the back end of one of the bigger swells to hit our coast recently did its thing up and down the beaches and reefs of Vicco.

Saturday was absolutely massive with Maurice Cole telling me, as I drove down yesterday, that it was as relentless as he has ever seen it, and ten to twelve feet, with maybe fifteen foot sets.

Now Maurice is one of the great under callers (in my opinion) so I knew it was effing big and I was due for a bit of the same when I arrived.

Was I.

The swell? Well if it'd dropped it must have been HUUUUUGE on Saturday as big lines thumped down and after a quick piccie to record the action, one only as the camera battery pooped out, and the pic is NOT a set, I suited up and tried to figure a way out.
The tide being lowish made it doubly hard as Bells when big is murder to get out, as it's all about timing, luck and stamina.

So around to Southside and try to go 'round it. After rock hopping my way under the cliff, all I could see where huge close outs sending spray high in the air 100 metres or so outside, where there used to be a channel.

So back to Centreside, and an attempt to push through.

Within a few minutes of a horribly mistimed paddle, I found myself in front of a closing wall and already just 25 metres the Bells side of the Winki Button.

I don't normally throw my board, but I was shagged and also I didn't want to be pushed back too far, so I ditched and dove, hoping to save ground and break through, only to feel that depressing pop as my leggie gave way and I was left drifting towards the dry sucking horrors thumping onto the Button ledge.

Oh dear, I thought. This is not good.

So I pushed seawards and went with the rip, letting the drift take me past the nasty bit and I swam in to Winki, and the walk of shame back up the steps... and back down to Bells, where thankfully some kind soul had propped my board nose first in the sand.

Back to the car to change leggies, and there I discover four other guys who've abandoned any further attempts of getting out the back.

I refused to let it beat me, as I've never been pushed back before and that was my first swim in at Winki.

Next time round I got lucky and found a gap, and soon sat waaaay out the back, so far out that the spray off the backs of the waves at times made it hard to see the shore.

The crowd wasn't many at all, for obvious reasons, and for the next three and half hours it was fun and games, with a wave count of a couple of waves an hour as I tried to find a groove in and get a clean entry.

It's so nice out there on these days, the guys chat and laugh, hoot each other in and the only thing missing is a nice cup of tea.

The pics, the shot I took, and a tighter crop, just for detail's sake.

PS: My God the snooze on the beanbag that afternoon was a doozy.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Last week I received a group email from Derek Reilly, editor of Stab Magazine, informing all and sundry of a new website venture he's embarked on with his California pal Charlie Smith.

It's called LikeBitchen and indeed it is. I fell about laughing on my first read but it is inflammatory, self deprecating and disgusting in no particular order, and has an air of genius about it.

Expect to be horrified.

On the surf front, a desperate run on Mother's Day afternoon, after Sue packed off to work, poor thing, and I was left with one son left asleep and the other disappearing for a skate. Nothing to do... go surfing! Seemed like a fair thing to me and even though it was onshore and apparently a near waste of time I had a feeling it wouldn't be.

I gave Richie a call and he laughed at me.

It's crap.

Doesn't matter I'm going anyway.

OK. Pick me up.

Weak bastard. Wave a wave at him and he's anybody's.

But aren't we all?

And it wasn't that crap after all.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

The unbelievable happened yesterday and I managed a mid week surf, under the guise of a meeting in Torquay about what might become the next film, judiciously timed to coincide with an upcoming swell.

Glassy and rising, a quick couple of hours saw some fun waves ridden in the slightly sloppy but ever so fun conditions.

I felt a little under gunned on a 6'1", but I blame my age and frequency of water time. Maurice C again out shining, on a same size board, but I ain't him.
On seeing me get belted on an under the lip take off he said "you need more length".... "at least that's what your missus tells me"

Thanks Maurice.

Today it's light offshore and utterly perfect, but I really did enjoy it yesterday, adequacy insults not withstanding.

Monday, May 04, 2009

A solo run to the coast yesterday, beautiful conditions but as anticipated the perfect waves were no secret and it was packed.

I paddled out and decided to go to a 'happy place' in my head, drifted about and chatted out the back hoping one would come my way. After an hour of two waves caught with drop ins on both I decided, still smiling, to paddle up towards Rincon and see what fell my way.

On the way had another chat, and suddenly snagged a runner that took me on a speedy line that broke the ice and set up a sporadic wave here, wave there that fed the beast for another few days.

Maurice Cole paddled out about an hour in, always entertaining as he barks and rails against the crowds, longboards, drop ins, seagulls, low flying aircraft and anything else that annoys him. He's a great bloke, MC, but don't drop in. He has what seems to be his own private 200 metre point break as he picks up the Rincon runners that start way out the back and way inside, and thump all the way through the Bells bowl. Killer waves if you snag one and the dear boy has them dialed.

Balmy, light winds, and sun though cloud made it easy sitting and with that odd wave to keep me interested when I looked at the time thinking I'd spent maybe three hours tooling about it turned out to be closer to four.

Oops. Better get home before the sun is eclipsed by a flying rolling pin.

This morning up very early to get Joey to a film shoot. He gets hooked in as talent in short films every so often so today it was in to the cafe'd lanes of Melbourne to link him up with the crew.

Shots today, a quick snap of Bells yesterday, and the view from my cafe seat, toasted sandwich and coffee smell not attached, an hour or so ago.

PS: The Australian Chamber Orchestra is playing at Carnegie Hall as I type this (7:30 Sunday night NY time) and will be playing at Princeton in NJ tomorrow. Richard and Satu are chasing a surf Tuesday. New Yorkers, what is it looking like and any takers to take a couple of violin virtuosi for a splash?