Way Back When with Triggs | Ep 19 Trigger Team

Over the past few decades Trigger Brothers has accumulated a large collection of old school photo’s of Paul, Phil and friends from back when it all began! So we decided it’s time we get Paul to write up a short story about some of these classic moments in time… from local sessions and state titles to random road trips across the country.
Trigger Bros.

Trigger Team

Pictured at Lorne Pt Sat 9th March 1987 are some the Trigger bros team prior to competing in the relocated Vic surfing Titles.


I was chatting with Matt Trigger about our team and why we were at Lorne Pt, the home of great surfers like Gail Couper, Wayne Lynch, Warren Powell and the eventual winner of this comp Greg Brown.  Matt reminded me of the dramas I had at Bells earlier that morning when they sent the senior mens out into wild 10 to 12ft waves. On a shorter board I followed out Rod Brooks and Alan Atkins from high in the corner at Rincon. Their longer guns saw both of them just punch thru as we were swept down towards Winky Pop.  The problem on this particular day was the fact that the storm surf had a stong westerly direction causing it to strike just as big across the whole bay. Bells may not register in the hollow wave category but its right up there for power and volume and fittingly Bob McTavish in his biography Stoked acknowledges his worst ever wipeout occurring on one of these giant masses of water. The only wave on the peninsula that has any resemblance is Cape Schanck on a big day.

I was slammed and tossed around like a cork before surfacing and spotting another monster about to unload, took another deep breath.  Coming up for the third time I had a few more seconds where I noticed I was on a path to destruction, where one of Victoria’s greatest surfers John Pawson had tragically died.  I was in a state of sheer panic but wisely chose to try and ride the white water into the corner. Missing the jagged rocks by only a metre or two I have never been so glad to be rag dolled onto the shore. Immediately The Vic titles were deemed too dangerous at Bells and in a giant posse we descended on the tranquil waves rolling into a picturesque Lorne Point.

Pictured from left to right

  • Brian “Scratch” Archibald a good solid surfer now living in France.
  • 2 Matt Trigger at 15 before getting hooked on Sailboarding
  • 3 Phil Coates dual Vic open champ and still thriving on red cordial.
  • 4 Simon Forward our current shaper at 13 the youngest grom on our team.Inspiring surfer with power to burn.Also did a pre-season with St Kilda and Captained Hastings Premiership team
  • 5 Gary “Bazza” Burns regular Open Finalist
  • 6 Chris Edgington 14 a junior team rider from Mornington kinda rare, now lives on the Goldie
  • 7 Phil Mr Contest Trigger
  • 8 Simon Rice kneeboarder worked with The Bros then partner in Peninsula Surf Centre now at Byron Bay
  • 9 Simon Trigger 14 has some good moves and now manages the Sorrento store. Should have been a motor mechanic.
  • 10 Stu Mclean passionate surfer who is ripping on a S.U.P.
  • 11 Robbie McCartney one of the best waterman in Vic for eons and a great servant for Surfing Victoria
  • 12 Brian Forward a good footballer and long time surfer before injuries took there toll
  • 13 Christian Clarke the real deal no fear surfer I wish I was with talent to burn
  • 14 Ian Portingale Our 1st team rider a superb competitor Dual Vic Open Champ
  • 15 Chris “Gremlin” Garrett 14 developed into a superb surfer and shaper on Phillip Island
  • 16 Gail Couper legendry surfer in Australia and World surfing titles.Her Trophy cabinet boasts 10 Bells titles that recently prompted a few complimentary comments from Kelly Slater.
  • 17 Triggs ( Bells Beach Survivor 1987) modelling Billabongs multi coloured Cord Jacket. Given the current circumstances it might be a good time to reintroduce this cash converter and watch those shares skyrocket upwards.