Rod Brooks describes the monster day at Bells with waves at “fractionally over 20 ft.” In April 1974 Ted Bainbridge interviewed Brooks for a Breakway magazine special on the Bells Easter contest.
At the time Brooks was managing Klemm-Bell Surf Shop in Torquay. A year later Brooks and Fred Pyke would launch Piping Hot wetsuits, another business from the small Victorian seaside town to become a global player in the surf industry.
Bainbridge asked about the famous Bells waves and Brooks recalled 28 straight days of “over 6ft. and perfect”.
He said the most memorable Bells contest was in 1965, “the biggest and probably the most exceptional time at Bells.
“There have been days that big but there hasn’t been the number of people there to take advantage of it. On that particular occasion, top surfers from all over Australia were there and it was probably as big as it ever gets.
“I’d say fractionally bigger than 20 ft., but certainly 20. This was only on one particular morning then eventually it closed out on the low tide. The wind went around from N.W. in the morning, banking west all day and also the waves tended to wall across to WinkyPop.
“Robert Kenneally won and Nat Young came second. Jeff Watt, from Torquay, was third.”