1968 Isle of Wight French Surf Trip

An Isle of Wight Surf trip to France in 1968 remembered by Graham Sorensen who shared a campsite and waves in a field along with Bob Ward, Elizabeth, Angus, Hutch, Mo, Trevor, Dita and Pat.  Traveled in a green kombi van with a kiwi emblem drawn on the front.

Taken in the month of mid-August 1968 on a non-surfing day, which was rare for the month of August.

The campsite was located [behind Guethary surf spot, owned by an English gentleman who shared his hospitality every night].

We were all surfers and enjoyed the common thread of uncrowded late summer waves.

Bob Ward was travelling with Isle of Wight surfers and was the source of surf knowledge for the Bayonne area.

Isle of Wight Surfers 1968

Background to the photo: Identified persons from left to right:
Elizabeth, Angus, Hutch, Mo, Trevor, Dita and Pat:

The green coloured van was owned by Pete Stuart “Moonie” McAllum, who was living, life guarding and surf board manufacturer in Cornwall. Mo was “Moonie’s” second wife [by herself]!

The board on the rack of the van was typical for the period; an 8 foot “V” bottom by 24 inches wide [didn’t like to turn]!

One Response to “1968 Isle of Wight French Surf Trip”

  1. John 'Carrots" Hartnell says:

    Like the photo, familiar faces, but I doubt the date. The reason is :-

    Eight go on honeymoon !

    Thats what the caption in the local paper said under the photo of Rory and Marilyn Angus under an arch of surfboards outside the little church at Shalfleet.

    Rory wanted to go to Biaritz for their honeymoon, but the only way they could afford it was to fill up his VW camper. So there we were, 8 of us, Dave and Jenny Jacobs, Wendy and Louis Jones, Tony MacPherson and myself along with Rory and Marilyn (nee Hacker) all crammed into Rory’s VW. 6 boards and a hugh frame tent on the roof and the rest of the stuff packed inside.

    I seem to remember that it was only a 1200cc motor and wouldn’t do much more than 50mph down hill with the wind behind it.

    We spent 4 weeks camping on Pavillion Royale campsite above the beach at ‘Castles’ and had some great surf. Generally smallish but warm, sunny and a hell of lot better than we would have got on the island.

    The reason I’m sure of the date is we arrived back on the island the day of the first music festival out at Rookley.


    John ‘Carrots’ Hartnell

    P.S. Tony remember the side trip to Pamplona?

    P.P.S. If anyone still has any photos of the trip I’d love to see them, my email is hartnell1@bigpond com