1971 - by Wayne Murphy
In 1971 Fred Hemmings secured sponsorship from Continental Airways to stage the first Pipeline Masters.
Photo: Corky Carroll competed in the first Pipeline Masters which was won by Jeff Hakman. Pre-contest favorite Gerry Lopez failed to show. Decades later, there is still a rumor getting around that Corky deliberately told Gerry the event was postponed for the day, so the King of Pipe wouldn't compete. You can read what Corky has to say about that, and more, in Ian's book: Pic of Corky at Pipeline by Art Brewer.
In Perth on a starry spring night the hungry eyes of Ian Cairns feasted upon the attractive figure of Pat Milner for the first time.
Photo: Ian met his first wife Pat Milner at the Perth Royal Show. He was instantly drawn to her easy going manner and down-to-earth charm. They had things in common. Their forbears were people who worked the land. Pretty soon Ian and Pat were going steady. Within a year they were married. Pic of Ian with Pat's sister Linda, his good mate Barry Day and Russell Catto during a surf comp at Trigg Point. Courtesy of Surfing Down South.
And champion surfer Robert Conneeley was relocating from the east coast of Australia to live at Margaret River.
Photo: Robert Conneeley with his Hayden hull design that featured a chine bottom and personalized flexi foiled glass fins inspired by George Greenough. By 1971 surfboards had finally reached a shortened size, with some flawed designs, that negatively affected performance. In the years that followed boards gradually increased back a little more in length, to suitable proportions according to a surfer’s height and weight distribution. Shapers and manufacturers began focusing on outlines, tail designs and fin set-ups with different rails, rockers and bottom curves. The scourge of heroin had arrived in Sydney where Robert had a surf shop at Bondi Beach. His shop was broken into at night repeatedly. Robert had enough of surf comps and manic city life. He packed his Landcruiser, wife Diane Conneeley and their daughter Serene to drive across Australia and relocate at Margaret River. Ian Cairns and Robert Conneeley both shared a love of the Margaret River region with its remoteness and uncrowded Hawaiian-like surf. They respected each other in big waves while living opposite ends of the sport versus lifestyle divide in West Oz.. Pic courtesy of Tracks Magazine.