San Diego hosted the First World Surfing Contest in August 1966. Larry entered the team: Skip Fyre, Billy Hamilton, Mike Hynson and Ricky Ryan. He also sponsored Kevin Cavey from Ireland who came to compete. The contest drew the finest surfers from the U.S.A., Hawaii, Australia, Europe and Ireland. They all came to surf the multi day event.
At the time of the event G&S ran the following ad to welcome surfers from all over the world to G&S Country as it was held at their local break.
This is another iconic ad that we have turned into a tee!
Anyways back to the details of the event as read from G&S: One Long Ride.
This contest was also unique. It relied on cumulative points accrued from each of the three separate contests which were surfed at different sites with different types of breaks. It gave every competitor a chance to show his/her best skills because of this international variety.
Nat Young from Australia stunned the status quo with his aggressive style on his shorter and thinner board "Magic Sam" taking first place and well deserved recognition for the emerging Australians. Downplayed at the time by the American surf media, Nat's performance on the Bob McTavish designed board would eventually be the catalyst that would challenge and forever change board design and the industry in a few years. The women's event resulted in the First Place trophy going to Joyce Hoffman, who edged out the local favourite, Linda Benson.
Even with Nat Young's upset that day, no one in attendance will ever forget watching David Nuuhiwa hang ten for what seemed like an eternity.
Ricky Ryan with a graceful nose-ride at Huntington Beach
This would mark the first of many contests to come.