By TONY WHITE
WITH natural, youthful exuberance Yamba surf lifesaving star Jacob Lollback said it all: "It's going to be awesome. I can't wait."
On Friday, 16-year-old Lollback, flies out of Sydney to New Zealand with the NSW surf lifesaving country touring team to New Zealand.
The 14-day tour will mark Lollback's first adventure away from Australian shores.
"And I've never been in a plane before," he quickly added.
Lollback will be joined on the tour from January 14 to 28 by Yamba's princess of the surf, Alyce Bennett, 17, who has been designated vice captain of the 10-man, 10-women squad and Red Rock-Corindi's Ryan Twigg and Scott McCartney.
The team, aged between 14 to 29-year-old's, will be accompanied by six officials headed by manager, Mark Taylor and coach, Alan Beveridge.
They will compete in four carnivals on New Zealand's North Island ? January 16 at Waitu Cove (near Ruakaka), January 19 at Orewa, north of Gisborne on New Zealand's east coast, January 21 at Mangawhai, near Ruakaka and on January 26 at Piha south west of Auckland on the west coast.
"In between the team have numerous activities planned including a traditional Maori welcome at Rotarua, bungee jumping, white-water rafting, a tour of 90-mile beach, a visit to the Bay Of Islands and other sight-seeing activities," manager Taylor said.
"They will be busy beavers."
The tour is part of a tri-series involving competitors from Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.
"Next year, we plan to tour South Africa and the following year we host New Zealand," Taylor said.
Lollback and Bennett will compete in numerous events including board, swimming and ironman categories.
"I've been training really hard," Lollback said. "Apart from the carnivals it's just going to be great fun.
"I'm really looking forward to the whole experience."