10 – The Swiss Who knew that the Swiss surf? They do! Switzerland doesn’t even have a sea… let alone an ocean. Switzerland is completely landlocked. It’s not the kind of place one would expect to produce a fired-up surfing community! The Swiss, as a rule, locate their annual national surfing championship in Spain. The address of the head office of the Swiss Surfing … [Read more...]
I got off the train at Osaka and did not have the foggiest idea where to go. Or even in what direction to head. The jumble of busy streets and incomprehensible signs gave no indication. Boasting a Japanese vocabulary that might have stretched to half-a-dozen words on a good day, I was steeling myself for the ignominy of approaching a perfect stranger and asking plaintively, … [Read more...]
Olympic success – the countries that (really) excel… and how Australia doesn’t rate!
Most of us sports-mad Australians like to think that we punch well above our weight when it comes to Olympic competition. Australians, and our media, just love the medal table that we believe shows what a superior sporting nation we are. If the numbers of medals that we win, per capita, are any measure of how well we perform at Olympic sports then we better think again. The … [Read more...]
Surfing in the land of ice and fire – exploring Kamchatka… Siberia’s wildest region!
In the sixties, adventurous surfers stowed away on ocean liners to discover the exotic waves of the Hawaiian Islands. What a blast that must have been? Even if you got caught. In the seventies, the next generation of surfers with wanderlust took cheap flights to Indonesia to discover destinations like Bali’s Uluwatu and Kuta. Wave-mad hippies like Rusty Miller and Stephen … [Read more...]
Introducing the Sunwolves! The case for Japanese Rugby.
Chris Waterman examines Japan's recent love affair with rugby and with their own team the Sunwolves. Few genuine rugby fans will have forgotten watching in disbelief as Karne Hesketh dived over on 84 minutes to claim victory for the Brave Blossoms against the Springboks and thereby ignite last year’s Rugby World Cup, and although the Japanese narrowly failed to qualify for … [Read more...]