Santa Claus, having set out from his North Pole home with sleigh and reindeer, had swapped his traditional transport for a surfboat by the time he reached Australia this week.
GV Bathers at Maroubra beach, Sydney (2 shots)
CU Children pointing
GV Children waving ZOOM INTO Santa Claus arriving by surfboat
SV Children on beach
LV Santa in boat steering boat to beach
SCU Santa surrounded by children (2 shots)
SV Santa talking to crowd
SV Crowd on Beach
SV Santa wading into sea with surfboard, paddles out and capsizes
"Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas, boys and girls. I've got to go back to the boy factory -- I've got a lot of work to do. I'll see you all on Christmas Day."
Initials BB/1843 TH/AW/BB/1858 Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Santa Claus, having set out from his North Pole home with sleigh and reindeer, had swapped his traditional transport for a surfboat by the time he reached Australia this week.
The surfing Santa landed in full regalia on Sydney's Maroubra beach, much to the delight of several hundred youngsters basking in pre-Christmas sunshine. The temperature at the time was 90 degrees Fahrenheit. (32.2 Centigrade), so the reindeer were better off out of it.
Santa had surfaced at Maroubra at the invitation of the local life-saving club -- similar landings have been reported all round the Australian coast. And though he didn't have any toys, he did bring a message for the youngsters: SYNOPSIS: Problem for Australians: how do they get their children to believe in Santa Claus, with his snowbound North Pole toy factory, when the youngsters are basking in Pre-christmas sunshine on beaches around the coast? Invite the old boy to drop in, of course.
Sharp-eyed youngsters soon spot an unusual figure bobbing across the surf, and the news goes round that Santa Claus is back in town -- though he seems to have mislaid his reindeer somewhere on the trip down from the North Pole.
In place of his sleigh, Santa takes the helm of an Australian surfboat, provided by the lifesaving club at Maroubra beach, Sydney. In fact, it was the life-savers who invited Santa to drop in. They seem to maintain very close links wit the old man in the red cloak, because similar landings are being reported all round the Australian coast. Santa doesn't bring any toys on this occasion, but he promises the youngsters that he'll be back at Christmas: The pre-christmas temperature at Maroubra rises to about ninety degrees Fahrenheit. And after trundling round the beach in full regalia, one over-heated Santa heads out to sea -- with a surfboard taking the place of his traditional transportation.