The ‘Surf Coast’ of Victoria, in Australia, is known by surfers worldwide as the home of Bells Beach, Winkipop, as well as many other fine coldwater breaks. It’s also home to Freshwater Creek, a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it village halfway between Geelong and Anglesea. And here’s where we find “Freshwater Creek Cakes”, a bakery and cake shop that is – I’m just going to come out and say it here – the best bakery and cake shop that’s ever existed on earth. If you’re ever in Victoria, do yourself a favour, etc.

Why are we telling you this? Well, Freshwater Creek is the place one of our recent guests, Dave Challis, calls home, which is reason enough to tell you about Freshwater Creek Cakes. And no, your scribe has NO intentions of showing the good folk at Freshwater Creek Cakes this email review in the hope of securing free pastries next time he’s passing through, and quite frankly resents the accusation.

OK, where were we? Ah yes, to our epic guest group…

Mark Duffer // The shredder of the group. With his thick black hair and short board shredding, you wouldn’t pick Mark as a fella well into his fifties, but this pilot by profession has more than a few surf contest heats under his belt, and it shows in his attack – powerful, aggressive, smooth, and always a pleasure to watch.

David Duffer // Like father like son. Teenage Mark took a while to get his confidence rolling over reef, but once he found his mojo, the lad simply couldn’t be stopped! A polite and respectful fella, young Dave had his standout sessions at Pinnacles and The Patch.

Mick Rowley // Hailing from the charming town of Bangalow on the NSW North Coast in Australia, Mick’s idea of heaven is a quiet lineup, and so was always up for a stealth missions to score empty waves. We’re willing to bet Mick won’t forget his surf with SuperGuide™ Skye on the last day of the trip – The Bubble doing a decent right handed impersonation of small Teahupo’o.

Darren Taitoko // Remember 2019? When someone ate that bat kebab in Wuhan? Well, Covid’s fickle finger selected and sidelined poor Darren. You can’t keep a good kneeboarder down, however, and Daz came back with a vengeance, slotting into (and making) some critical caverns at The Bubble. Always good to ride with this esteemed return guest!

Grant Jeffery // Another welcome return guest. Grant may have retired recently but no signs of slowing down (well, apart from the Covid that slowed him down for 36 hours). Byron-Bay based Grant, who loves a good chat and has got a wealth of stories, knew all of the breaks with an easy familiarity.

Phil Stockton // Phil lives in Jan Juc, (15 minutes from Freshwater Creek Cakes if you’re reading this, mate). Phil’s about the crusiest cruiser that ever buried a rail in the Telos. Supremely pleasant and chilled company, (and the coolest school teacher around) Phil’s best session might have been out front at Max’s Right. All time and barrelling, with only SuperGuide Skye™ for company.

Jeffrey Behrendorff // Birthday boy Jeff celebrated his birthday in fine style on the first full day of this trip, and spent the rest of the trip unwrapping gifts at each break we surfed. A man as comfortable in the barrel as he is smashing the lip like some kind of birthday piñata.

Eliza Kerr // Solo traveller Eliza loved to be first one out whenever she could, and had no problem launching herself into solid GTs, Le Ba and Pinnacles. A musical soul, Eliza composed and performed a classic ode to all things Telo. Big hearted Cali legend charger.

And finally. The one and only David Challis // Freshwater’s Finest indeed! Now, Dave’s run his share of marathons, and has a dodgy hip as a result. Not that you’d know it watching this kneelo’s G-force-turns. Dave’s marathon effort at Max’s Left on day three was one for the books. Dave’s a top fella who loves to cruise, surf with a few select mates, and take it easy. Our kind of people! Go and enjoy a pie, Dave, and maybe a vanilla slice mate, you deserve it.

Cheers all. Can you believe it’s July already?.
Here’s a few more pics from the lens of the incomparable Elise Thompson. x