Mike Doyle story from Nat Young
Posted on 28 December 2018
I first met him in 64 at Manly for the first World Surfing Champs, Joey Cabell and Mike were billeted in the same room. Mike was my hero, for that matter he still is, over the years our relationship has developed into a close friendship. For many years after that first exposure I rode the same board as Mike's, wore the same chequred board shorts and imitated his surfing style to a tee. He was looking so cool on his big purple board with competition stripes. I was riveted watching Mike surf in the final of that contest at Manly, every move was so definite as he drove down the line and kept turning right onto the sand. All our Collaroy mob thought he had won but that was not to be. As young gremlins we had only seen him in magazines and the first surf movies but not in real life. Every day after school was spent hanging around the Manly Pacific Hotel ( where they were staying ) hoping for a look or a chance to say Hello to our hero. After I met Mike I asked him what I could do to make his stay in Australia even better, he said it would be great if I could get him a girl. Luckily we had a friend at Collaroy who was most obliging. I met the Grunter as she got off her school bus the next day. I explained the situation, she immediately understood our predicament and what a big deal this was for us surfers. Karen became the unofficial representive of surfing in Australia. I bought the bus tickets to Manly for both of us and off we went. It was perfect, I knocked on their door, it opened and our girl disappeared into the room.
A couple of days later Mike made my year, he came down to our local beach at Collaroy. He surfed with us, spent the whole day hanging out. He met everyone including my parents and when he left he gave me a Mexican embroiled shirt that I kept for years, diligently hand washing it so it would last longer. On the way back to the Pacific Hotel he even stopped in to my sponsor Gordon Woods surfboards, that little visit boosted my credibility enormously.