Graviere, Hossegor, January 2013 Photo: Timo

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Look up 'dawn patrol' in the glossary of your favourite hardback surfing book and it'll tell you about the classic up-and-at-em dawn raid on a glassy ocean, favoured by Australian and Californian surfers. Dawnie on the Sunny Coast of Queensland this week and you'll be out of your scratcher around 5am. In Cali you want to be up at 6 to get your giant coffee cup filled in order to be checking 'Creek/'Bu/'Con/Lowers for 7. A mid-winter's day in France however, dances to a slightly different beat.

"I'd just been back from Hawaii a few days and was still all jetlagged, waking up at stupid o'clock," reckoned Timo. "It was supposed to be good and clean at Graviere so I posted up with a new flash housing I wanted to try out... 8am in the car park at Graviere and it was still totally pitch dark, like midnight. Crazy. I saw out and got a few nice empty ones, and then eventually the sun poked his nose above the trees around 8.30am... the laziest dawn patrol in surfing..."