“CLOCKWORK BLUE” – THE ROLF AURNESS STORY, BY DREW KAMPION

"Clockwork Blue: the Strange Journey of 1970 World Champ Rolf Aurness, by Drew Kampion, ran in the Spring 2001 issue of The Surfer's Journal. This version has been slightly edited and shortened.

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In May of 1970, a tall, lean 18-year-old California goofyfoot named Rolf Aurness became the World Surfing Champion by overwhelming a stellar group of finalists —including Midget Farrelly, Peter Drouyn, Reno Abellira, and Nat Young—surfing almost exclusively backside in a decidedly low-...