Tag Archives: Gisborne

70s logo tidy. Last week Gisborne Boardriders celebrated it’s 50th Jubilee during the National Championships. ‘Gisborne Surfriders Club’ was formed in 1964, and later changed it’s name to ‘Gisborne Boardriders Club’. The jubilee celebrations were held at the Tatapouri Fishing Club as the club no longer has its own clubrooms. Early club members such as Chris Ransley (1969 NZ junior champ), Ben Hutchings (1975 NZ Champ), Geoff ‘Lumpy’ Logan, Gail Patty (1967 NZ Womens Champ), and Paul Dobson; were present at the celebrations, along with many members and associates from over the years.

Celebrations opened with the ceremonial couch shell blowing and welcome mihi (speech) by local surfing kaumatua (elder) Ian ‘Moti’ Proctor. The mayor of Gisborne, Meng Foon, made a welcome address and presented a commemorative certificate to the club president, Andy McCulloch.

The highlight of the evening was the screening of the short movie ‘A Look Back Over The Last 50 Years’ produced for the occasion by local movie guru, Damon Meade. It’s a must-watch if you haven’t seen it. Click on the image below to link through to the video. (You’ll even see me featured in a brief interview towards the end of the movie). I’ve added old historical photos from the Gisborne Photonews, to the photos that I took on the night. ‘Go Hard, or Go Home’ was the club’s unofficial slogan from the 80’s. Hopefully Gissy Boardriders will be going hard out for another 50 years!

movie link

*click photo to go to the movie

Mengs welcome

Mayor’s welcome

jubilee drinks

good turnout of young and old

Mayoral certificate

current president Andy McCulloch received the mayoral certificate

1st committee

early club comp

one of the first club comps

Lumpy, Gail, Chris

original members ‘Lumpy’ Logan, Gail Patty, Chris Ransley

Chris Ransley

Chris Ransley, 1969 NZ Junior Champ

Gail Patty

local legend Gail Patty, 1967 NZ Womens Champs

Aussie import Benny Hutchings, an allround waterman, won the 1975 Nationals in Gissy when lack of surf forced a change of venue from Piha (…amazing, but true !) For his efforts Benny won a trip to Australia for the Bell’s comp and a trip to Hawaii for the Smirnoff and The Duke comps. Just as well he co-owned Surfboards Gisborne, – Sunset Beach can be hard on your boards. Ben still competes in the Nationals, these days in the Over60s. Summers spent in Gisborne means Ben still gets to surf old favourites like Tuamotu Island, where Ben first met the cheeky young grommet, Al Byrne.

Benny 1975

Benny wins the Open Mens, 1975

Benny Hutchings Hawaii

Benny on the North Shore {left], Mike Ho, Barry K [right]

Surfboards Gisborne

70’s scene at Surfboards Gisborne

Benny Hutchings, Island

Benny surfing the Island a couple of summers back

The surf fashions have certainly changed over the last 50 years. Hair styles and moustaches are a bit of a giveaway of the period. Here’s some before and after shots of some of the old boys.

Benny & Wayne

[left] tidy Benny Hutchings & Wayne Spence, [right] Benny & Chris Ransley ’72 World Champs

Tahiti team

Wayne Spence’s cookie-duster mo’ in the 80’s

The team above was supposed to be a NZ representative team, so how come they’re all from Gissy?! …maybe they were the only Kiwi’s who could afford to go? – The club was very financial at this time. The clubrooms, established in the old skating rink building in Grey Street, was a popular hangout and watering-hole in the 90’s. A lot of liquor was sold, which financed a lot of surf trips and club activities.


GBC clubrooms in the 90’s

Kaiti hall news

parties were held in rented halls before there were clubrooms

lads drinking

socialising was a big thing in the early days – no TV, internet, etc

400 dozen beer

sponsor Steinlager gave the ’84 Nationals 400 dozen

1984 Nats Midway

1984 Nationals, Midway -are those guys judging or guarding the beer?!

The club has had a number of competitive legends over the years. Since winning the NZ Senior title in 1984, John Gisby has racked up a total of 34 national titles. Turning 60 before this year’s Nationals ‘Gis’ was eligible to compete in the recently established Over 60’s division, which he won last week.  In 2003 when ISA brought the World Masters to Taranaki, Gis’ won the Over 45s World title.

John Gisby

’84 senior champ John Gisby has added 33 more national titles since

Jay - World champThe only member to come close to Gisby’s record is the club’s first World Champion, Jay Quinn, who won the ISA World Under18 title in Sydney in 2002. Jay has won the NZ Open title 3 times. He added the NZ Longboard title to the Open in 2008. He was both U18 & U16 Champ in ’99, and the U14 Champ in both ’96 and ’97. Jay has come close to qualifying for the elite World Tour.

Older brother Maz Quinn has won the NZ Open 4 times. Although Maz has never won a World Title he won the ultra-competitive Australian Pro Junior series – breeding ground for future World Champs (Parko, Fanning, etc.) and finished 2nd to Taj Burrows in the World Pro Junior final. Maz then qualified for the elite World Tour and placed 5th in the opening event on the Gold Coast. He was king-maker at the Quiksilver France, where Kelly Slater hoped Maz would beat the other world title contender, Andy Irons in serious barreling surf. A desperate Irons finally caught up with Maz with just 5 minutes to go. Final scores: 11.76 to 11.33 – Andy became the World Champ. Maz became a household name in NZ and appeared on numerous TV sports shows. Maz is still the only male Kiwi surfer to make it onto the elite World Tour, although brother Jay came close.

Maz Quinn reo

Maz Quinn – still the best backhand reo in the business  [pic. Cory Scott]

Only one other Gisborne Boardriders surfer has ever achieved at a higher level than Maz Quinn in the International arena. A young kid named Al Byrne was one of the original grommets at the beginning of the club. His dad, Des Byrne, was the first club president. But that’s another whole story…    Ô



from the Nationals

Cellphones and surf comps are a good combination. Last week we held the NZ Surfing Champs here in Gisborne. As I was judging at the comp all week I didn’t have much time to be taking any carefully considered photos so I only managed to make some daily snaps on my cellphone to beam out live on to the interweb using Instagram. (If you’re an Instagram user and haven’t befriended me yet, my tag is @donpnz  …and I’ve also just ventured into the realm of Tumblr – also ‘donpnz‘ )

But back to the Nationals, we had pretty good surf all week except for the Monday, when the surf was tiny for 24 hours. Not that I really minded as I was helping organise the Gisborne Boardriders 50th Jubilee celebrations that took place on Monday night. Big stormy surf on the Finals Day led to a change of venue from ‘Red Bus’ at Makorori, up to Kaiaua Beach north of Tolaga Bay.

comp sign

15th time the Nats have been held in Gissy

Makorori Beach

‘Red Bus’, Makorori was the venue


‘the Titanic’ -my home for a week

results board

checking the results

Stand Up Paddle

Stand Up Paddle boarding was included

Finals day

stormy conditions on the Finals day


Abby Falwasser-Logan


15 year old Gisborne grommette Abby Falwasser-Logan finished 2nd in the Open Womens division and was a finalist in the Under 18 Girls division, took out the trophy for the Most Outstanding Surfer of the championships. (Not bad for someone who was on crutches with her ankle out of action just two months back!)

Watch this space …Abby, along with her cousin Jasmine Smith who won the Under 18 Girls for the second year in a row, are Gissy girls with a big future in competitive surfing.

Grace Spiers

Grace, 2014 Womens champ

Our friend Grace Spiers from Whangamata – one of my daughter’s main adversaries in the Grommet series years back- took out the Open Womens. This is Grace’s first time to get her name on the prized Women’s trophy …but not before time. Her achievement was quite remarkable given that Grace only recently recovered from a broken wrist and hadn’t been surfing for four months. Several years ago Grace had to quit surfing for over a year with a bad back. A great comeback !

Billy Stairmand

Billy Stairmand

Gisborne surfers only took out 5 national titles this year – down a bit from the 7 we won last year at Piha Beach and quite a few less than recent times when the Nats were held here. Our 2014 Gissy champions are: John Gisby (Over60s), Chris ‘Bugsy’ Malone (Over 28s & Over 35s), Jasmine Smith (U18 Girls) and Kamen Geileser (Kneelos).

The Open Men’s final had 3 Gissy lads in it : Bobby Hansen and Maz & Jay Quinn, but the 4th finalist, the Raglan rat, Billy Stairmand, stole our cheese !  …again! He won the last time the Nationals we were held here.    Ô

tropical sunset_low 0012


The temperature just hit 31ºWilbur goin left. On days like this you may be tempted to describe Gisborne as ‘tropical’  but if you’ve been to the tropics you’ll appreciate that we have more of a ‘sub-tropical’ climate. Which is great, as we miss out on a lot of tropical nasties like sea snakes, malaria, and low budget kung-fu movies playing in third world hotels. But at the height of summer we experience other menaces, such as crowded surf and the proverbial ‘surfed-5-times-over-the-summer’ kook. Check out the kook in the photo below!

Today the surf was so tiny I resorted to bodysurfing. The waves were so weak that I was even having difficulty doing that. As I took no photos, other than a couple of quick snaps on the cellphone, for today’s Dose I’ve recycled some shots I never used from last summer. (Except for the opening photo, which I took just the other night in ‘sub-tropical’ Gissy).  “Yes, I’ll have ice with my coke, thanks”.    Ô


spot the Kook…   (pic by Doug Hislop)

hot start

a hot start to the day

sub-tropical Wainui

sub-tropical Wainui

summer SUPing

summer SUPing

water quality sign

drinking salt water is not advised

carpark sunset

carpark sunset

going Fishing_0021

Dave & Mike crop_0034There’s something fishy

about this. Steve Roberts likes fish, the colour yellow, and little waves (as well as big waves!) Last weekend the huge 8-10 foot swell from earlier in the week finally dropped away to a mere 1 foot, so Steve picked out the bright yellow fish from his extensive and eclectic quiver of boards and headed down to Stockroute for a few small ones.

A couple of us old boys were tossing up whether to bother with the very small surf. Stockies local Dave Timbs, out for a paddle in front of his house, came in and reported that it wasn’t too bad, “…Hey, at least the sun is shining, the wind’s offshore and it’s small enough today for us old guys to get out the back”. Good advice -it’s the middle of winter so we need to count our blessings, especially as we’re still fit and well and are able to enjoy the surf. Amen     Ô

aloe vera wave

my camera lies, it’s only 1 foot


Steve speeding down the line


carving up the fish

empty peak

the one that got away

 garden view

the best garden view

surf & skate

rollin’ home happy

Wellington runway_0071

‘cleared for takeoff’

I don’t mind being in Big River from air_0028Wellington for a couple of days. Variety is the spice of life. There’s so many choices of dining there. I had Turkish for lunch, then Cambodian for dinner.  Saturday night on Cuba Street means free live music at every second joint. If you don’t like the style of music playing, you just walk another 50 metres. Shopping is pretty good too if you need some new threads and there’s lots of art shops and galleries.

But home is where the heart is. There’s nothing like being back in paradise after a quick stint in the ‘Big Smoke’. Flying in over Midway Beach you realise just how beautiful the Gisborne region is. *Hey, if you read yesterday’s post and are wondering which camera took which shots – the first 3 were taken on my digital SLR, the rest were taken on my Motorola cellphone’s camera …are you surprised?  As they say, “The best camera is the one that you have on you“.    Click    Ô

flying high

heading home

Mahia Peninsular

Swell on both sides of Mahia Peninsular

Poverty Bay

Poverty Bay and the flats

Tuahine & Tuamotu

Tuahine Point and Tuamotu Island

ANZAC Wreaths_0004

– Lest we forget

ANZAC Day icon

ANZAC Day icon

Our fathers, uncles and grandfathers went off to war during the last century to ensure that the future generations would have the freedoms of democracy and would be free from the ideologies that fascist forces sought to impose on us all, should the outcome of those wars had been different. Today we tend to take those freedoms for granted.

Today is a public holiday, which is a great thing not only because we get the day off work and can go surfing, but also because we have the time to slow down from our usual hustle and bustle and reflect on the significance of this special day. Here in Gisborne, as happens throughout the rest of New Zealand and Australia, the day began with a dawn ANZAC service. Then it was time to hit the beach. The surf was quite good, with a strong offshore wind nicely grooming the one metre south swell at the town and coast beaches.

ANZAC sunrise

ANZAC sunrise


day dawns at the cenotaph

Stockroute surf

nice surf for our day off

Makorori carpark

the beach carparks were full

ANZAC Day surf

paid our respects …now time for a surf

Denny 6x9_B&W 4174

Denny Aaberg at the Dome

Denny tall colour_4172Denny is not only a legendary surf writer and movie maker but also a great musician. Saturday night’s show at the Dome began with Denny playing a wide range of musical genre on his guitar as he took us on a journey of his wide musical experience and interests. What a treat! The laidback atmosphere at The Dome was the perfect setting for the night. From the beanbags to recline in, to the halftime pizzas and beverages, there was a great vibe at The Dome.

After being entertained by Denny the minstrel, we were treated to two of Denny’s short films Little Wednesday and Cactus Wagon. Little Wednesday is a documentary of the making of Big Wednesday – the 70’s surf movie classic that Denny co-wrote with John Milius. Big Wednesday was based on Denny’s short story about life at Malibu, titled No-Pants Mance, which was published in SURFER magazine in 1974. The night ended with the showing of Big Wednesday.

welcome to The Dome

Haere mai, welcome to The Dome

'Little Wednesday' movie

‘Little Wednesday’ – documenting the making of it’s big brother

Dome audience

laidback Dome audience


pizza with your movie

inner_most_limits_artDenny and his 70’s band FARM also contributed the very hip ‘n’ groovey soundtrack to George Greenough’s groundbreaking 60’s surf film The Innermost Limits of Pure Fun, that became a cult classic.

Hey, if you’re keen for a huge dose of surf movie madness, come along to the Aotearoa Surf Film Festival showing at The Dome this Friday and Saturday night.