Rip Curl co-founder Brian Singer has emerged as the mystery buyer of Byron Bay’s record-breaking $22 million sale on Wategos Beach.
The holiday home of recruitment industry boss Geoff Morgan and his wife Ros has sparked headlines across the eastern states since it sold after just a week on the market, with big-name Hollywood stars Zac Efron and Matt Damon touted on some websites as the buyer.
Settlement of the sale on Friday confirmed the Bells Beach-based surfer was behind the sale, lodging it in a company name and sharing ownership with his four children Samala, Naomi, Anthony and Jade.
November has been a fruitful month for Singer. He is part of a syndicate of owners of Melbourne Cup-winning thoroughbred Twilight Payment, who took $4.4 million in prize money three weeks ago.
Singer founded Rip Curl in 1969 with fellow surfer Doug Warbrick, shaping boards and making wetsuits in Torquay, Victoria. The company remained privately owned for half a century until last year when it was acquired by New Zealand specialist outdoor retailer Kathmandu in a $350 million deal.
Singer’s purchase through Mosman-based Michael Coombs, of LJ Hooker Avnu, not only set a record for Byron Bay, but a residential house record for the North Coast.
The last time the 664-square-metre property traded in 1994 it set a Byron Bay record of $1.24 million, and has been redesigned since by architect Timothy Moon into a two-storey residence with five bedrooms and a swimming pool.
There are a dozen houses that share the premier address fronting Wategos Beach, including the colonial-style property sold last year for $18.85 million by Danny Goldberg, chairman of private equity firm Dakota Capital, to F45 gym franchise co-founder Adam Gilchrist.
At the other end of the street, the residence Whalewatchers, also designed by Timothy Moon, sold in the last days of 2019 for $12 million to Brett Whiteley art dealer Steve Nasteski.
In October a record was also set for the hinterland market when philanthropist Tanya Carnegie paid $11 million for Bangalow’s Hillstone Farm from architect Dean Lewis and his wife, nutritionist Sally Lewis.