‘Bell’s’ Reading by Michael Gordon, Easter Sunday 3-4pm, April 24 at Great Escape Books

Michael Gordon is a Walkley Award winner and former Australian Journalist of the Year who covered the Bells contest for many years from when it turned pro in 1973. A keen surfer, Michael is the national editor of The Age newspaper and spoke to a keen audience at Great Escape Books about his passion for surfing and some of the amazing surfers he has interviewed over the years. Our thanks to Michael for such an inspiring event.

Bells: The Beach, The Contest, The Surfers by Michael Gordon.

The story of Bells Beach is much more than a powerful narrative about the world’s longest running board riding event, a contest that began as a rally half a century ago and became the Rip Curl Pro.

It is the story of a collection of fearless pioneers who discovered this iconic bigwave beach and made it their own. It is the story of Australian surfing, from its amateur roots, through the rebellious 1960s and the country soul era of the early 1970s to the professionalism of today.

It is the story of how a tiny cottage industry became a global empire. Most of all, it is the stories of the people who surf at Bells, especially those who make the annual Easter pilgrimage and compete for the most coveted trophy on the world tour.

Bells celebrates the 50-year history of the world’s longest-running surfing contest and the story of one of Australia’s most iconic beaches, and draws on interviews with surfers including Wayne Lynch, Midget Farrelly, Nat Young, Terry Fitzgerald, Michael Petersen, Gail Couper, Mark Richards, Simon Anderson, Cheyne Horan, Tom Curren, Tom Carroll, Sunny Garcia, Mark Occhiluppo, Andy Irons, Layne Beachley, Mick Fanning, Taj Burrow, Joel Parkinson, Stephanie Gilmore and Kelly Slater.