Tim Baker |
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The first person to get their special advance copy of Century of Surf was 1939 Australian surfboard champion Harry Wicke, as a belated 99th birthday gift. Harry’s incredible story is told in COS, born of a German father and Australian mother, the family moved to Australia in 1926 when Harry was 13. He quickly found his calling in the surf at Manly, was one of the first to adopt the new hollow boards in the mid-30s and soon proved almost unbeatable in surfboard paddle races. He won the national title in 1939, and was picked for the Australian team to travel to Hawaii for the Pacific Games. But with war brewing in Europe, he was denied a passport because of his German ancestry, lost his job as an aircraft engineer at DeHavilland as a security risk, and when war broke out he was interned as a Prisoner of War. Incredible but true. He shared his story for the first time for COS and I was honoured to be entrusted with it. Thanks Harry, you deserve your place in Australian surfing history. Happy birthday.

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