Over 50 years ago: There are few moments that still hold me in as much awe after all of these years as the afternoon of December 5,1969 when Renny Yater, Stu Fredericks, Miki Dora, myself and two Carp kids: Jeff Boyd and Kevin Sears joined George Greenough to surf the outside reef some hundreds of meters outside the point at Rincon.
We’d been watching the weather maps for a week plotting a series of super lows in the Aleutian Islands so we were on it! What we didn’t know when we paddled out was that we would be the only ones who got out because it was the last lull. Jeff and Kevin took the first sizeable wave they saw and we never saw them again. And then the swell jumped another 8’-10’ moving ever further out and over. I’d never been that far off-shore to surf anywhere before. We all took set waves but had to pull out about half-way through when the wall just got too long because: if you got behind at any stage, like Kevin or Jeff – Your day was over. This is the shot of one of my waves from mid-afternoon and certainly not one of the biggest because the swell didn’t peak until sometime in the night and I came in at dusk, for fear of being caught out there alone in the dark. Renny Yater did the calculations on the shot and called it “27 to 30 feet. 20 feet easy – no matter how you want to measure it.” I had a beer with Miki at Noosa a few years back and he said it was the best swell he’d ever seen and I concur wholeheartedly – A once in a lifetime swell.
Sadly, Stu Fredericks, Miki Dora and Kevin Sears are no longer with us to lift a glass and remember the one that didn’t get away.