Saturday, September 17, 2011

Event: Seventies Sessions

PT's Seventies Sessions
A no pressure, no judges, fun event

My good friend, former '76 World Surf Champion, Peter Townend [PT], is putting on what he calls the Seventies Sessions Surfing event this weekend in his home beach of Huntington Beach.

In the true spirit of the decade of the Seventies, this weekend in Huntington Beach as part of the new 'Surf City Days' weekend the inaugural 'Seventies Sessions' event will take place.

In a celebration of the surfboard culture that swept the globe in the Seventies, heavily impacting in Huntington Beach, this event was inspired by the Golden Breed Expression Sessions on Hawaii's North Shore in the early Seventies. These events were less about competition, they had no judges or scoring system, no winners and losers, but instead were focused clearly on the creative individual expression of wave riding.

The 'Seventies Sessions' will be no different says PT, with a congregation of forty-eight [48] participants gathering in front of the Waterfront Hilton to surf from 8:00a.m. until 1:00p.m. on Saturday September, 17th. Then retire back across the street to the Hilton Hotel's 'West Coast Club' to drink a few beers and 'Talk Story' on those who surfed best and the stories behind the boards they brought to ride.

Here's the unique hook; participants are required to bring their own boards and those baords must have been made under a Huntington Beach surfboard maker's label during the time period of the Seventies.

Photo #1 - PT riding his hollow W.A.V.E.
at Tea Tree Bay Noosa, 1974.
Photo: Steve Core
Some of those classic '70s Huntington surfboard brands are still around like Check Dent, Randy Lewis, The Greek and Robert August, some have left town like Infinity and Walden, while others have become extinct like Plastic Fantastic, RC, Hawk, David Nuuhiwa/Dyno, Carl Hayward, Bronzed Aussies, Wayne Brown, Corky Carroll Spacesticks, Sunline, Creative Designs and Gordie.

RELATED: Huntington Surfboard Pioneer 'Gordie' passes away.

The format is much the same as the original North Shore, Hawaii event, with four one hour heats of twelve and one final one hour heat 'Free For All' with everyone invited to participate - to express themselves on their vintage weapon of choice.
PT, late afternoon backside turn
at Gas Chambers/Rocky Point,
North Shore, Hawaii.
December '77
Photo: Steve Core

Event producer and organiser Peter 'PT' Townend of The ActivEmpire [ATE] says; “I participated in the last of the very original Golden Breed Expression Sessions on Hawaii's North Shore and that's where the inspiration for this event is coming to me from - only this weekend our event will adapt a localised Huntington Beach flavour”.

Of further interest, PT also posted a couple of old surfing photos of him [taken by me] on his Facebook site this week. I had not seen these photos in many years and they come to us from courtesy of the extensive PT Collection.

Photo #1 above: We were chasing some cyclone surf and headed up North to Noosa from the Gold Coast. Ended up with some nice clean surf at Tea Tree Bay, Noosa. I took this shot from sitting on my surfboard with my Nikons II waterproof film camera in 1974. PT is riding is hollow W.A.V.E surfboard. This is the same board that he rode in the "Pipeline Rights' sequence in my 1975 16mm film 'Ocean Rhythms'.

Photo #2 [left] Originally a Kodachrome slide, I snapped this shot very late one overcast afternoon at Gas Chambers/Rocky Point in Hawaii a few days before Christmas in December '77. PT said this week, that this is just about his favourite backside shot of himself ever.
The view down over Huntington Beach from
the rooms at the Waterfront Hilton. Nice.

Thanks for sharing PT and we should have some photos of the Seventies Sessions to post next week.


Ocean Rhythms is available on DVD
Some Ocean Rhythms stockists are: Saltwater Dreaming Phuket - Heritage Surf, ManlyJackson Surfboards, Caringbah, - Express Surfboards, Taren Point

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