The Thunder Files: Team Dreams.

Weekend at Bernie’s: Port Mac Attack.

By Mitch Thunder Lees.

One of the most revered weekends for the Port Stephens Bodyboard Club and the hanger-ons at the Bellagio circa mid 2000’s was always the long-weekend Teams Challenge event in Port Macquarie.


Port Mac has a rich history of boog royalty with the likes of Eppo, DeGraaf, Kingy, Benson, Chase and Charlie being some notable rippers in my eyes.


Come to think of it there was that breakdancing bloke that went alright as well, all reports are he’s sporting dreadlocks and riding a quartz powered foil-board in Hawaii now.

For the PSBC the Teams Challenge trip wasn’t so much about the surfing but more about the social intake of piss and the dancefloor at the Macca.
Port Mac and Port Stephens have a lot in common really.
Waves where boogs could give it a fair punt and retired pricks from Sydney that want everything to close by 10pm on a Friday night.

Port Mac did have something we didn’t though, and that was licensed venues where we weren’t all banned from congregating at.
It was heaven for a twenty-something bachelor with a little pocket money to splash about on highly concentrated alcoholic beverages whilst trying to sweet talk the superior sex.

Somehow the PSBC always placed pretty well for a crew that would rather piss the bed than get up at 6am to meet in North Wall carpark for a comp call.
Often our riders missed heats as they were high-range in a coma ripping zeds or had sustained immobilising injuries from the night before’s antics.
It was an excuse to get away from the bay, our better halves and the baggage of mislead youth.

There was only ever one team we wanted to beat when we made the trip up the freeway and that was those coal-sucking symbionts in the Newcastle Bodyboarding Club.
Even though we were pretty tight with most of their crew it was a healthy regional rivalry that kept the fires stoked.
Some of their lads would even end up joining the PSBC in the years ahead and were frequent crashers on our couches in Nelson Bay.

It was what I would call brotherly love…
Nah fuck it, they were cunts and we just wanted to belt them in the rankings every now and then.
Nothing wrong with that.

Now, I recall one particular year where our new breed of grom rippers who were only 17 at the time attempted on multiple occasions to breach security to join us in the pubs.
The boys got man-handled by security with the added insult of hefty fines for their troubles.
It was a regular occurrence for the PSBC youth brigade.
The little bastards consoled themselves with a bag of some B-Wall chronic and floated through the rest of the weekend.
I’m pretty sure we all got booted from our accommodation as well…

The same year this shit went down it just happened to be one of the lads 18th birthdays.
This particular grom was the youngest brother of our very own Sean Virtue impersonator in Russell Shaw.
We celebrated in typical Nelson Bay fashion by a couple of rounds of King of Beers before hitting the speakeasies.
We hit all of the pubs that would have us and even those god-awful mini nightclubs Port Mac was famous for.
I’m pretty sure one of our noted brawlers cleaned up a couple of local mini-truck enthusiasts for the record, I mean a lot of shit went down on these things.

Anyway, as we crawled through the streets during the witching hours we loaded up on bakery goods and stumbled like the undead along the main drag.
About 10 or so of us find ourselves in a back-alley with no exit and next thing you know someone boots in a double door, it swings open and we stumble in.
It’s the fucking cinemas and there’s an all-night movie marathon playing.

We all find a seat and settle in pissed as popes at fuck knows what hour.
All of us pass out during whatever Hollywood puss is playing and are only awoken by the sound of a steady flow of vomit running down the front an individual’s shirt.
It’s the birthday boy, doing his best chocolate fondue fountain impersonation.
We get disposed of by security and roll around the road for the next half-an-hour or so till some poor cab driver is forced take us home.

This was really only the tip of the iceberg for the PSBC over the years in Port Mac.

I’m sure there’ll be more to divulge and digest at a later date.

PSBC grommet brigade circa 2005 under close supervision.

Think you’ve got a teams challenge or otherwise tale to top this, we want the dirt!

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