the world’s worst wipeout ..
… at a competition in 1963. The Pass. 5′ plus. Bottom tide. Taking off deep.
But first a look at the equipment; my board, a water-logged bruiser with a shredded nose and unsteady fin. Borrowed from the relics that decorated Algae Reid’s garage rafters at Mrs Brown’s.
This was made necessary as my board had recently been stolen from the same garage – how I loved that obedient little rascal, everybody wanted a go. Even Bluey Mayes. How could I refuse?
Then an appraisal of the man I was to beat in this heat. An athletic, blonde-haired interloper from Cronulla, hotly mobbed by a vociferous group of barrackers perched on the outcrop not twenty feet distant from the takeoff.
Frank bloody Latta !
But, there’s more ..
Bob Evans was in town, his current crew of lads on the make tailgating their way down the track behind him. Evans always travelled with his cameras, and on this day, from not twenty feet away, he recorded the World’s Worst Wipeout on film.
Then flogged it to Northern rivers TV.
The event was over in a moment. The wallower did not respond to the paddling hand as it should have, the tide was a little lower than expected, the face a lot steeper than planned for, and F Latta grinning at me over his shoulder as I fell from the sky and he sped away.
Laugh away Frankie, I thought as both lip, board and sand greeted my arrival at the base of the wave, but I went for it inside you .. !
pic is Latta