Wayne Lynch, Sitting Forward.
Wayne and his son Jarrah Lynch combine surfing, sailing and family time on the high seas in New Caledonia.
Story by Glen Casey
The planning of this Surf trip emerged from two things, the need to break the cabin fever and speed up the finish of a long, bitterly cold, Victorian winter, and to try and get some footage of Wayne for a Patagonia Clip I was putting together and his up and coming Documentary about his life story “Unchartered Waters”.
In his 60th year on the planet, if your going to convince Wayne to go on a surf trip, normally the first words that spring from his mouth are; ‘is it warm’, ‘is the surf crowded’ and thirdly would be ‘will I enjoy the company.’
I told Wayne we needed to get some footage and to think about where he may want to go and surf. Wayne has always enjoyed the Pacific and its many islands, with trips to Tavarua and legendary stories of his amazing tube riding at Cloudbreak. l thought if I was going to peel him away from the fire at home, then it had to have all the above and more, it had to have a perfect barreling left.
Even though I’d mentioned this idea of a trip to Wayne a few months earlier I was shocked by his quick response. ‘l’ve got the perfect place, New Caledonia.’ Perfect waves, perfect climate, no people and we can hire a 50 ft Catamaran, and sail where we want….Bingo! This sounded perfect, so we booked.
We arrived into Noumea a few months later with Wayne, his son Jarrah, myself and two camera crew. Before we knew it, we bailed Port and we where sailing out to our first surf west of the island, a beautiful long and perfectly clean reef pass wave called Tenea. We arrived to the sight of a groomed 6ft swell with no one in site and Wayne and Jarrah hit the waves immediately.
As we expected Wayne surfed beautifully, he’d been out of the water for about 2 months prior to this surf but showed no lack of finesse, and grace as he threaded wave after wave, with his son Jarrah, who was surfing exceptionally well himself. It was a warm feeling watching the two of them laughing between sets and egging each other on as they fell into another perfect left that looked like a flatter version of Cloudbreak. After hearing of the 40 to 50 knot wind front on it’s way, we decided to leave.
So now came another of Wayne’s loves, Sailing. We had a magnificent sail back to the Noumea harbour that early morning. Wayne and Jarrah worked beautifully together setting sails and adjusting rigging. They have had many sailing adventures together when Wayne owned his own boat, and it was really nice to see them work as a team in some gnarly windy and rainy conditions.
So we sat out the storm which promised a 3 meter swell after it has passed us by. Sadly, after a few days the winds stayed a little too cross to onshore for the lefts so we missed out on the dream barrel session for Wayne. However we had 5 days of fun and laughs, surfing a small shallow right. The last day we tried to surf a solid right hander close to the mainland harbor called light house reef.…it would be our last surf.
We where all really happy with our time on Kuarne, our captain Stephan had given us such a good time and the food was to die for, we relaxed, read books, collected some warmth in our bones, found some fitness and energy in our surfing and some momentum to get through the last of the stormy, bleak Victorian winter.
But what really left its mark in my heart was the friendship I saw in a father and son, best mates, laughing and living passionately in the same pursuits. As they sat forward together staring at the Hulls move through the ocean waves they both where very quiet, very present with what nature was doing, and their love for the special moments it brought for them. Patagonia Australian Surf Manager, Glen Casey
Photo’s by Clare Plueckhahn
Film by Mick WatersBackground Photo: by Mike Tittel