It is with sadness that the Club acknowledges the loss of brothers Craig and Grant Laing in December 2019.
Craig was a Club Member from 1986/87 through to 1991/92, Grant in the 1990/91 and 1991/92 seasons.
29/12/1971 to 30/12/2019
Laingo joined the Club in September 1986 and gained his Bronze Medallion on 12th April 1987 along with Jeremy Eagleton, Stuart Sadgrove and Elizabeth Kerr. As one of three Cadets that season, he won the Club Championship for Beach Flags and the Board Race in the Cadet age category, the start of a strong competitive presence.
David Robertson (Diff) joined in the following season and remembers Laingo as follows:
After obtaining my Bronze Medallion down at North Cott, Big Wave (David Gallagher) convinced me and a couple of others, to come down to Swanny. Laingo held all the beach records at the Club and initially, didn’t take too kindly to me testing his pace in the beach sprint! He had me covered for beach flags, which is where one his first trade mark quotes of “no, j – j – jewellery!!“ was noted, announcing to everyone that to participate in flags, you cannot wear watches, rings etc. We didn’t know when we first got down to the Club that Laingo had a stutter, which he used in more humorous settings to help him get through it.
There are many many other stories … like dressing up in ‘after work gear’, suits and ties to ‘lure’ the ladies at City bars into thinking he was lawyer or banker! (the things you did when your turned 18) …. Eagles (Jeremy Eagleton) was in on that too. Lango was an awesome surf board shaper and lover of the ocean … Mike will no doubt mention the home grown ‘Hangen Tuff’ surf, skate movie that was way ahead of its time!
Many fond memories going down south in the back of Lippo’s (Paul Lippiatt) Garden Elegance work ute (with the tarp over us!) with Conto Springs being a regular spot to surf. One trip we stopped off to visit Sconno (Jon Broomhall) and Fi (Fiona Broomhall nee Taylor) at her parents Pub in Dardanup.
David Robertson, October 2020
Michael Tucak (Mike) joined the Club in February 1989 at the instigation of Laingo and remembers him as follows:
Laingo and I had been school friends for a while (including a legendary TEE Economics class) when he roped me into coming down to the Club after Year 12. We spent a lot of time down there with Lippo, Eagles, Diff, Big Wave and others, and he certainly showed me the ropes. I didn’t then realise how much of a beach flags and beach sprint champ he had been for the Club, as he didn’t talk it up, but he was focussed, athletic and took his beach activity seriously.
As Laingo got more interested in developing his surfing, the idea of a Swanny surf movie took shape and Laingo loved the idea. ‘Swanny Hangen Tuff’ took shape organically, there was never much of a plan, but it centred on Laingo and Eagles’ unique bond and amusing antics. Whilst I still think of myself as the creative genius behind the film, really I was just documenting what everyone got up to and Laingo always seemed to steal the show with his natural charisma, cheeky humour and golden ‘stylin’.
Craig and I hadn’t been in contact for a long time, but reconnected at a 2018 school reunion, where he was in truly good form and genuinely a pleasure to catch up with – he’d lost none of his larrikinism, sporting his old school blazer that still fit him it was yesterday. I’ll remember him for his unique spirit and friendship. I believe he knew strongly who he was, but perhaps his talents were never properly realised. I have him to thank for my involvement in the Club and will always have respect for his surf Club and surfing achievements – Laingo, a true ‘one of a kind’.
Michael Tucak, November 2020
Jeremy Eagleton (Eagles) joined the Club in March 1987 and was in the same Bronze Medallion group as Laingo.
I met Laingo in about 87 at Swanny Surf Club. We hit it off straight away, both having similar warped senses of humour and a real love of the ocean. We surfed the WA coastline from Red Bluff to Denmark feverishly, with plenty of antics at Rottnest, also surfing and diving for crays. In addition, disappearing into Indo and Victoria every now and again.
Our patrols days at Swanny were about 7.5 hours of surfing and bodysurfing with 30 minutes of tidying up the old trailer we used to sit in as patrol accommodation then trying to get the high score on the Kiss pinball machine at Docs shop. That was when the Swanny Reef used to pump. Laingo used to make “Utopia Surfboards” in his Grans shed in Cross Street, Swanbourne which we all rode.
We got into a lot of mischief over the many years and loved every minute of it.
He was a free spirit, really genuine person and friend and we had a great and strong friendship for many years. We lost him a long time ago and he is still very much missed.
Jeremy Eagleton, November 2020
In his first season at the Club in 1986/87, Craig won the Club’s first State Title at the Open State Championships in nine seasons, taking out the Cadet’s Beach Flags title. For the Club, which had enjoyed success in the 1970s in the Open Surf Boat, Rescue and Resuscitation and Champion Lifesaver events, there was a strong desire to return to the top step of the podium and Craig delivered to the Club. In the 1990/91 Annual Report, the Club Captain expressed thanks to all who helped maintain gear that year, in particular to Laingo for his professional work on the boards.
Awards: Bronze Medallion WA 6110, SNSLSC 409th Bronze Medallion, 12th April 1987
Office: Gear Steward 1991/92 Season
State Championships: State Champion 1986 – 87 Cadet (U/16) Mens Beach Flags
Club Championships: (Currently the Club does not have complete records for the 1990/91 Club Championships)
Board Race U/16 Champion 1986/87 U/18 Champion 1987/88 1989/90
Beach Flags U/16 Champion 1986/87 U/18 Champion 1987/88 1988/89 1989/90
Beach Sprint U/18 Champion 1988/89 1989/90
Long Run U/18 Champion 1987/88
Ironman U/18 Champion 1989/90
Overall Club Champion U/18 Champion 1987/88 1989/90
Long Swim U/18 Champion 1987/88 1989/90
Long Run U/18 Champion 1987/88 1988/89 1989/90
Beach Sprint U/18 Champion 1987/88 1988/89 1989/90
Beach Flags U/18 Champion 1987/88 1988/89 1989/90
Vale – Grant William Laing
Awards: Surf Life Saving Certificate
His Instructor was Amanda Simper and other current Club Members in the group included Lisa Engelbrecht (nee Goff) and Timothy Leaversuch
Over 20 members competed in the City Beach Carnival which was the club’s largest team for some time and by all accounts a good all round team.
Individual winners were:
Craig Laing – cadet flags and cadet beach sprint
Jamie Muir – Junior beach sprint
Ian Acott almost made it a treble when, in the senior beach sprint, he was beaten into second place by less than a chest’s width.
State Championships 1987
Craig Laing has won the club’s first state championship since 1978. Craig won his title as state champion in the cadet flags.
[There is an urban myth regarding the presentation of Craig’s gold medal. Craig was a chronic stutterer, and his medal was presented to him by another stutterer, an official called Ric Roberts. Neither knew of the other’s affliction, and apparently, the ceremony went something like this:
Ric Roberts: “C…c…c…c… congratulations C…C…C… Craig.
Craig Laing: Yeah, g…g…g…good one, m…m…m…mate!”
Not sure if it true or not, but if it’s not, it should be.]
Other finalists: 4th 4 man R&R
Junior boat crew
Champion Lifesaver – Tony Leaversuch
5th Cadet Beach Sprint – Craig Laing
6th Senior Beach Relay
Junior Beach Relay – David Robertson [Diff], Colin McKernan, Dave Gallagher and the champion Craig Laing. Our first win in this event since 1964.
God said unto Moses come forth. He must have also spoken to the senior beach relay team of Jamie Muir, Ian Acott, Dave Robertson and Craig Laing; to Tony Leaversuch and Paul Entwistle in the senior and junior champion lifesaver.
City Beach Carnival
To put it simply, Swanny went off!!!! in this carnival, and easily won the B grade section, which should win us a new Malibu. Congratulations to all who competed and did so well. Some exceptional performances were:
Laingo, despite having hair over his eyes, and being hated by the officials for always breaking, came fourth in the junior flags, and looks set to crack a medal again this year.
The junior beach relay team of Laingo, Lippo, Kevin and Diff came in third but got disqualified AGAIN!! Do it again guys and I’ll kill ya.
FAI Surf Relay
The awesome Swanny team headed up to Scarboro, determined to take out the B grade title. After 3 or 4 restarts, 2 hours and lots of abusing officials, the race finally got underway. All the team put in a mighty effort, and despite Craig [Laing] not knowing his left from his right, the race went like a dream for Swanny and we won the title by miles. January 1989
Craig Laing in action in Beach Flags at Swanny. Adjacent to him is Andy Rowlands.