Lucky country indeed. You guys scored.
I'd love to meet Rabbit too (Wayne Bartholemew) again. He's really cool. The land of Oz has so much cool stuff going on. Every American surfer dreams of Snapper Rocks and surfing the Gold Coast. And then there's Perth and the Western regions with untamed shoreline and perfect lone waves for miles. I can't even imagine.
One of my old friends (mates, as you say) is Adam Sharpe of Rip Curl (NSW). We used to talk a lot about surfing, and one day he had a bunch of the big wigs to his house (he rented a place in my neighborhood for a year back in 2004-2005 while working here temporarily) for New Year's Eve. What a great time. We talked Australia, and they kept throwing questions at me for fun and I was hitting them back. They couldn't knock off the bale, so-to-speak. I told them, "Look, the reason I know so much about Australia is that pro surfing was so dominated by Aussies throughout the 70s and 80s, and still is to this day."
Before Tommy Curren (California), no American had been world champ on the world tour. He won the title three times (pretty much at the end of the Richards/Rabbit/Townsend era), and ushered in the Americans. Now we do much better (although most of the top surfers in the world are still Aussies), and we have the highest-rated pro surfer in history: Kelly Slater.
I think California will fall into the sea before Aussies beat his 11 world titles.
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