Club looks for a new hero
By MAX GODBEE
YAMBA Surf Life Saving Club is looking for a new star to fill the place of 2004/2005 dominant female competitor, Alyce Bennett, when the club holds its 98th annual club championships on Sunday.
Bennett after classy performances in last season's NSW and Australian surf life saving championships, went on to win virtually every event open to her at the 2004/2005 club titles in March last year.
As result she was the runaway winner of the female Competitor of the Carnival pointscore award.
This season she has followed university studies to Queensland and has been one of the star competitors for the Gold Coast club, North Burleigh.
However, Yamba's other 2005 star performer Jacob Lollback, again seems to hold a mortgage on every water event in the men's Under-17, Under-19 and open races.
Lollback has a heavy program with Friday and Saturday committed to a North Coast Academy of Sport lifesaving training session at Lennox Head, but says he will be back in time for Sunday's titles at Yamba.
Joining Lollback in the Lennox Head training program will be another Yamba top-liner Gemma Moody.
She will also be back contesting Sunday's events at her home club and is expected to be the main contender for several of those championships won last year by Bennett.
Lollback collected seven championship finals in last year's club events including the open surf race for the George Mills Shield and the premier open iron man championship for the SJ Eades Trophy.
The trophies are named in honour of George Mills who, as a member of the Yamba club, won the 1935 final of Australian surf race championship in a big surf at Bondi and Eades, a hard working official who played a big part in the successful running of the Yamba club and the Far North Coast Branch during the 1930s and 1940s.
Competition on Sunday is set for a 9.30am start with the running of the rescue tube races in each of the eight sections, Under-15, -17, -19 and open in male and female divisions.
Lollback started his onslaught on last season's championships winning the open tube event as the first of his seven titles, each in the surf.
He also contested beach events in a crowded day, but was not as successful.
However, his brothers covered for him with Andrew taking out the open beach sprint and Daniel the Under-15 beach flags.
Brodie Rheinberger and Joe Fahey collected trebles that day with Rheinberger winning his in Under-15 finals with the rescue tube, surf and ironman races and Fahey in the open ski and the Over-24 and Over- 30 surf races.
They will be hard to beat in their efforts to repeat those feats on Sunday.
As well as the individual championships the club will be conducting relays, team competitions and an inter patrol pointscore.
Club president Ray Burridge, who will be contesting surf races, has requested members to turn out in force from 8.30am to help erect the competiton arena, lay running tacks and place surf buoys ready for the 9.30am start.
"When the carnival is over around 1pm we will hold a barbecue for members, family and friends to complete the program," he said.