Scott McKercher, Peter Volwater, Thomas Traversa and photographer Gilles Calvet travelled to a real wave sailing paradise in 2003. They discovered the Cocos Islands or South Keeling Islands as a real paradise for hardcore wave experts. These islands, a ring atoll, are located around 2800 km northwest from Perth, Western Australia and around 100o km south of Java and Sumatra in the Indian Ocean. During the Australian winter the islands often get big swells from the southern Indian Ocean, where heavy storms create big waves. Paul McGill from 2ndwind Sailboards in Perth went through old hard drives and sent us this more than 10 minutes long clip called “Three man in search of a wave (the forgotten files)”. Thanks Paul McGill and thanks to Jez Hammond (owner of 2ndwind Sailboards and filmer).
Paul McGill: “We recently found it when changing hard drives. About 10 seconds of Peter got into Plug&Play’s end credits around 2005. Scott, Peter and Thomas went looking for a wave in far, far northwestern Australia. They found gold! This footage had been lost in the bottom of a hard drive for almost a decade.”
The insane wave action was filmed by Jez Hammond a year before Scotty McKercher won his wave title on the PWA tour and when Thomas Traversa was still on Space Dog Sails, at the age of 17. At the same year he had his debut on the PWA tour and already an incredible level in down the line wave windsurfing. Peter Volwater was 28 years and did competitions in all disciplines. He probably was one of the most versatile windsurfing pros at that time.
The footage – some footage got filmed by Annika Gillgren – is definitely a little windsurfing treasure, which shows unforgettable conditions on a really remote spot. Scotty, Peter and Thomas were riding in over mast high glassy waves on the reefs of the islands, where Charles Darwin anchored the HMS Beagle for about 12 days in 1836. Darwin discovered the reefs and developed the theory on atoll formations.
The Cocos Islands are part of Australia since 1984. If you are not an experienced wave rider you still can windsurf in the huge protected lagoon.
Scott McKercher, Peter Volwater (1975- 2015) & Thomas Traversa in search of waves in the Cocos Islands, Australia
- watch Jason Polakow’s video from his trip to the Cocos Islands in 2011