To which area does this photograph pull your gaze? The rock formation, Harry's takeoff, the wave's shoulder...? Either way, Stab adores the detail, and the tale behind, this image.
"It's A $5000 On-The-Spot Fine If You’re Caught Surfing This Wave"
Where misfortune leads to good imagery with Harry Bryant.
I'd just spent five days in the Desert with Creedo (McTaggart), Beau Fozzy (Beau Foster) and Shaun Manners, and was reclined in my seat on the plane back to Sydney, surfed out, reflecting on an epic few days. All of a sudden, this lady two rows in front of me starts pacing up and down the aisle of the plane, panicking, saying she can’t feel her face. The hostess made an announcement asking if there were any doctors on board the plane. Apparently she was having a stroke. Next thing I know, I'm sitting on the runway in Melbourne.
My filmer mate, James Kates, and I assumed that it had happened for a reason, and that we should therefore go find waves. So, I rang the crew at Holden – they lent me a car (on’ya, Holden!), and we headed down the coast. I’ve never spent much time in Victoria, so I was looking forward to exploring some new coastline.
The next morning after doing some looking around, we pulled up at a coastal location, and I got out with my camera like a full-blown tourist to take a photo. I was not only greeted with a massive rock with a hole in it, but a four-foot wedging beachbreak… with no-one around. The only catch was, it's a $5000 on-the-spot fine if you’re caught surfing this wave, so there's no access down the cliff. So, I drove around to the next bay, jumped off a cliff and paddled around a headland and onto the beach. Such a mission, but it was well worth it, as you can see.
It was a pretty random 24 hours, and I ended up missing my flight and getting stuck in Melbourne for another few hours. Again, well worth it.