PALMY OLD MAL RALLY

We jumped in my car at the Farm on the outskirts of Byron at 5am Saturday morning and climbed the steps on Jetstar two hours later at the Goldie - spewed out in Sydney an hour after that. Uber was waiting, and we were whisked off to Freshwater with the Korean driver's running report of the 'other' Presidential race: the race to dump the South Korean woman President who'd apparently (according to him) been manipulated by a fortune teller all her life! A million protesters had gathered in Seoul, and he, the driver, was later going to the Aussie protest in Hyde Park.

At Freshie we caught up with Pat Saunders at a cool shop Apparel Collective, downed some poor old smashed avocado, bumped into an old shaper mate Doug Bell, and jumped in the next Uber to Palm Beach. This time the driver was Argentinian, and his passion for ultimate drug baron Pablo Escobar kept the running commentary at full tilt. I could barely squeeze a word in as I attempted to show our photographer Lockie all the highlights of the Northern Beaches! I did manage to get the driver to pull over at Bennetts, where we leapt in to see Greg and Barry. Barry is 85 now, still fit, still working, still travelling, incredible!

Sydney traffic was slower and worse than ever but we finally tumbled out at Barrenjoey, and the surf was, surprisingly, cracking! Clean offshore winds, pretty water, and a joggly old north swell! Perfecto for the Palmy Old Mal Rally!

Cheery Chono greeted us right away, and then old mates Mick Dooley, (1964 World Title finalist) Denny Keyo, and Steve O'Donnell launched into a shaping dialogue about the great boards lying on the grass in front of us. Beautiful old Keyos, a Bing, a Bennett, one of Dooley's, all waxed up and borrow-able. Meanwhile, the hot new generation of young loggers ripped on the two banks out the front. All kinds of sweet turns, fantastic trimming and walking, noserides, gliding, zapping, pivoting, dancing, driving, powering, cruising. It was like the past 50 years didn't happen, It was just the 60's all over again!

The vibe on the beach was hands down the best "comp" vibe ever! Just Rancho Relaxo, cross-generational idea sharing, and full appreciation for what the other "competitors" were doing. It was much more of a gathering than a comp, an old line, but truer than ever.

But this was a strike mission and unfortunately Uber was awaiting! This time the Indian driver wanted to tell us all about how India was overtaking China as the global manufacturer, and we just let him, as the afternoon lazies set in, weary from an early morning, a nice surf, a couple of Young Henry beers, and the sweet Sydney sunshine.

Airport delay, a thunderstorm at Coolie, rumble back to Byron. Bob and Lockies Big Day Out.

Bob Mac