Anzac Day At The Peak

Monday, 29 April 2013

Words: Wade Davis

Matt Wilkinson fins high on Anzac Day.

Wilko at the Peak earlier in the week.

Surfing Life has spent the last week in Indonesia with Matt Wilkinson, Adrian Buchan and Glenn Hall. You can find out more about the trip, here.

I awoke to Nick Pollet banging on my door. It was still dark and I was still dreaming; I jumped up startled and confused. “Yes! What?” I yelled, tripping over the pants I was pulling on as I moved to open the door. “Dawn service dude”, said Nick and I remembered the plan from last night. We were going to have our own little dawn service at Lakey Peak, Sumbawa.

Paying our respects to the Anzacs. Photo: @acebuchan

Paying our respects to the ANZACS. Hope they're laughing with us. Photo: @AceBuchan

Red Bull’s Andy King had downloaded The Last Post, or First Recording as Matt Wilkinson calls it, for the service. As my sunburnt eyes blearily found their way to the beach I saw Andy, Matt and Nick assembled, as well as Mick Fanning, Adrian Buchan, Mikey Wright and Luke Hynd. All were standing in a row on the sand, all were facing the blue glow that signified the soon-to-be-rising sun. I joined them as the bugling began and we stood with heads bowed and arms crossed in respectful silence. When The First Recording was done we stood for a moment’s reflection until an explosion of orchestra shattered the calm. Unaware if being weirded out by this musical barrage was disrespectful we all stood in bewildered silence until Mick had the gall to ask, “what is this, Star Wars?” Turns out it was a particularly bombastic version of the Australian national anthem, part of a playlist, Mikey explained, for all those times the 16 year old participates in nationalist rituals abroad.

Behind the hotel where we breakfasted were mountains riddled with Japanese World War Two bunkers, a reminder of how close the war came to Australia. That morning Mick, Mikey, Luke and Andy surfed the Peak (mid to low tide, bigger swells) and Wilko, Nick and I the Pipe (high to mid, smaller swells). I was affected by the juxtaposition of our ability to come here and get tubed in front of bunkers that were created to try and take those rights away. Everyone has their own reasons for commemorating Anzac Day, I thought of my grandfather and his brothers, one lost, who fought in this part of the world against fascism and imperialism, fought for the freedoms which we often take for granted. In the surf we secured a deal that would land two goats in a bonfire for Anzac dinner, despite my protests that the goats we’d seen on our motorbike rides to surf Cobblestones (very high tides and slightly smaller swells than Pipe, tres picturesque) are cutie pies and thus not fit for consumption.

Following the surf we reconvened in the restaurant where Wilko got his hands on a paddle and some coins so that we may have a few throws of Two-Up. Gambling is illegal in Indonesia, so we didn’t bet money, and at the conclusion of the days throwing I dominated Wilko and he deemed it necessary to give me 300,000 rupiah, which was nice of him and befitting of the Anzac spirit (Ace just about gave away all his rupiah, what nice guys these pro surfers are!). Then the Bintang beers started flowing, and the Australiana started to dominate the iPod speakers. Ace played a comedic skit by Irish comedian Jason Byrne called “Magic Land” which made us cry with laughter as well as fill up with pride of place. Cheers were getting thrown around with every round, the cry being “for the Anzacs!” It wasn’t the same as being in Australia, but we made a day of it all the same.

Nick Pollet's gig.

I'd like to thank everyone for making it to the gig last night and my personal mic holder @mattwilko8. Photo: @NickPollet

By the time the goat came around some of us had had a few, and I’d all but forgotten my previous enamour for the delicious nimble devil sheep. With more Bintangs came conversation, and we discussed everything from pet hates, Wilko: sun, sand and seawater, to alternatives to the Australian national anthem, I think we settled on Thunderstruck. It was with merriment and full bellies we exited the restaurant, Mick and the groms went home, and the rest of us made our way to a place we knew had good acoustics. Nick performed his single, “Old Man, Young Man”, for us, a song about constipation and old guys with small dicks driving Audis, with recent lyrical modifications excluding Ace and Julian Wilson from the stereotype. As happens on nights like these we descended into a sculling contest, well Wilko and I did, which put us in bed by midnight.

The next morning we were up at dawn again, thankful to have the freedom to travel and surf and drink and eat and be merry, freedoms that were ensured through the sacrifices of our fellow Australians in the defence forces.

Lest we forget.

Comments


Related


  • Mick Fanning's Road to Victory

    With the 2013 season behind us, the ASP has put together a flip book showing Fanning’s run...

    more »
  • #MICKTORY

    Mick Fanning's heat-by-heat recap of his title-clinching run at the Billabong Pipeline Masters.

    more »
  • Lightning Rolls In

    Mick Fanning is your 2013 World Champion.

    more »
  • You're Buchan Out!

    Adrian Buchan withdraws from the Billabong Pipe Masters.

    more »
  • One & Only: Adrian Buchan

    From Tahiti to Portugal, there's only a couple goofy footers at this level.

    more »
  • The Rip Curl Pro Portugal: World Title Shakeup

    Fanning advances as Slater falls in the first two heats of round two.

    more »
  • #Tournotes: Portugal Lay Days

    Ace Buchan and sister Jessie take full advantage of a Rip Curl Pro Portugal lay day and sample...

    more »
  • The Quiksilver Pro France: Mick Fanning Wins

    Four Quiksilver Pro France wins and a face full of champagne...

    more »
  • Quiksilver Pro France, Day One

    Round One is done and dusted. We talk to one of the day's winners, Mick Fanning. 

    more »

» THE WIRE

  • One of the Biggest Great Whites Ever Tagged off the Coast of WA

    At 5.04 metres, Jaws lives!
  • Alana and Sally Sign Personal Endorsement Deals

    Helloooo Samsung and Ripcurl.
  • Kelly Slater On The Project

    Kelly Slater talks competing, quiting and motivation on Australia's talk show "The Project". Skip to the 35-minute mark.
  • Shark Attack in NSW

    A woman died in Tathra this morning when she was attacked by a shark during her daily swim.
  • Diver Remains Found in WA With Shark Bites

    Alarms were raised Saturday afternoon when a man went missing off the coast of Mandurah. His remains were found last night with visible shark bites.
  • Quiksilver's CEO weighs in on Slater's departure

    Explains the impact of Slater's exit on Quik's marketing plans.
  • Fatal Shark Attack in South Africa

    The ninth attack in seven years at Port St Johns kills a 72-year-old Austrian tourist.
  • Surfer Girl Attacked

    "It was a mackerel. She's been bitten by a fish. She's fine, she's OK."