In an extract from his book, Andy Martin recounts the story of our errant knight falling in love with night-club dancer Lola  – the trouble was she belonged to someone else

We were sitting at one of those benches in front of the Coffee Gallery in Haleiwa. We were supposed to be talking about surfing. It was what I was getting paid for, being a “surfing correspondent” at the time. I was not a girlfriend correspondent or anything like it. But Ted reckoned the key to becoming the Perfect Surfer was to have a Perfect Surfer Girl right alongside you. “Show me the perfect guy and I will show you the perfect woman,” I said, slamming down my glass of iced latte.

Being Ted, he didn’t see that as an irony-laced rhetorical challenge, he thought I really wanted to know what a perfect guy would look like. “I guess he would be something like a combination of Kelly Slater and Winston Churchill,” he said. Slater had not only won the first US Excalibur contest in 1986 but had risen, in the 1990s, to become the hottest young surfer in the world. Churchill was synonymous (in Ted’s mind) with Ted himself.

Read the full excerpt here.

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