Cribbar conqueror visits Newquay surf spot that almost killed him in 1966
A FORMER big wave surfer who almost died tackling Newquay’s legendary Cribbar reef in 1966 has revisited the spot for the first time in almost five decades.
Ric Friar and partner Wendy, who live in Australia, are hoping to mark his historic surf session with a 50-year reunion in 2016 and are in town to drum up support for the plan.
The 69-year-old is recognised as being the first to ride the Cribbar’s monster waves, along with fellow surfers Peter Russell, Jack Lydgate and John McIlroy.
Ric came within feet of being smashed onto rocks at the time – but was saved at the last minute by a rip current that pulled him away from the cliff.
Fantastic offer at Swanson Ford, Newton Abbot. 3 Years FREE Servicing and 5 Years Warranty available on your BRAND NEW FORD FIESTA with the AWARD WINNING ECOBOOST ENGINE!!!
Terms: Limited stock available. Only whilst stock lasts
Contact: 01626 240583
Valid until: Tuesday, December 24 2013
He told the Cornish Guardian it was an emotional experience being back in Newquay, which he described as having a “magical and mystical” vibe.
“It’s strange being back in a place where you were convinced you were going to die,” Ric said. “It’s been an emotional experience. Since that day I’ve had such an incredible respect for the water. I do believe there’s something different about the water here as well; I saw something in it that I’ve never seen before. There’s something here that’s very mystical.”
Ric realised the extent of his, and Newquay’s, contribution to big wave surfing when researching the 100ft wave ridden by Garrett Mc-Namara in Portugal in January – and his name kept popping up.
He also felt the story had never properly been told and could potentially inspire hundreds of new surfers.
The three other Cribbar surfers are on-board with his and Wendy’s plan, despite living in Hawaii and Australia, and there is even talk of erecting a monument to their achievement in the resort.
Ric, who was born in Kent, addressed members of Newquay Town Council on Wednesday, and received unanimous support for the reunion.
He said: “The idea of bringing the lads over in 2016 would be a real shot in the arm for Newquay. This could really energize the town, and give it some zip. We want people to get excited about it.
“All the boys who went out that day were changed forever by it. The reunion is a fabulous opportunity to celebrate the spirit and freedom that surfing brings to so many people, to pay tribute to tradition and laugh a lot.”
Wendy added: “It’s important to pay tribute to the history and tradition of surfing. There’s a lot we still need to do but the big picture here is fantastic. This event will be a tribute to everything British surfing has achieved in the last 50 years.”
For more information visit www.thecribbarreunion.org
• Ric was born in Kent, in the UK, but moved to Australia
• He lives with his partner, Wendy Harper, and they have a daughter called Honey. Ric had four children from a previous marriage
• The couple have announced plans to establish a ‘global sustainability project’ called GiantWave
• As well as a surfer, Ric is also an artist, peace activist, film-maker and horticulturist
• In 2009, Ric received permission to carry out a pilot programme to study the potential commercialisation of hemp. He cultivated 500 cannabis plants for the project
• In Australia, the media crowned Ric ‘The King of Poo ’ for all the work he did to stop ocean sewage dumping
• Among their films, Ric and Wendy made a documentary about the 2003 Iraq war