By Andrea Swayne
Chris Dixon, writer and founding editor of surfermag.com, will be having a release party and book signing for a project he calls both amazing and terrifying-his new book Ghost Wave, the story of Cortes Bank. The party is scheduled for October 14 at Surfing Heritage Foundation, 110 Calle Iglesia, San Clemente from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. and beverages by Hawaiian Spring Water, Primo Island Lager and Peligroso Tequila will be served.
Dixon will show photos and videos of Cortes Bank by the likes of Rob Brown and Jason Murray and talk story about the book, a tale of both the unusual maritime history of the area as well as the big wave surfers who first dared to ride its massive waves-the largest anyone had ever seen.
“I wanted to illustrate how these surfers think,” said Dixon. “How they tempt fate on every wave.”
The book also details half-told stories about the sunken channel island Bishop Rock that lies about 100 miles off the coast of Southern California only 12 feet under the surface at the bank and produces the biggest known surfable wave on the planet.
Dixon’s writing answers the question of what motivates the big wave surfers’-men like Greg and Rusty Long, Peter Mel, Ken “Skindog” Collins, Grant “Twiggy” Baker and Mike Parsons-obsession for conquering its massive waves. It also tells the story of deep sea diver/engineer Jim Houtz and actor Joe Kirkwood who in 1966 sunk a ship on the submerged island to serve as an abalone processing plant and began surrounding it with rocks in an effort to create the island of Abolonia and control the lucrative fishing rights in the area.
The Long brothers, Parsons, Baker and Houtz are scheduled to appear, along with Harrison Ealey who surfed Cortes Bank solo in 1962.
For more information about the party, call 949.388.0313 or log on to www.surfingheritage.org. To read more about the book, see www.ghostwavebook.com.
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