Yamba grommets Ryan Curtis, 10, Jackson Lucas, 15, Gunther Barwick, 11, and Mitchell Curtis, 15, check out the surf.
Yamba grommets Ryan Curtis, 10, Jackson Lucas, 15, Gunther Barwick, 11, and Mitchell Curtis, 15, check out the surf.

It's back

By SALLY GORDON

SOME big names from the Clarence Valley's boardriding fraternity are expected to carve up a surf-induced squall at Pippie Beach today.

Almost 90 boardriders have entered the 18th Yamba Bowling Club Pippie Beach Surf Classic, which is set to go ahead today and tomorrow.

The highly acclaimed surfing competition is making a comeback after a respite in 2004.

Angourie Boardriders committee treasurer Paul Curtis said the premier division would be hotly contested.

Local surfing identities such as former pro-surfer and Pippie Beach winner Jeremy Walters, Salomon-sponsored Navrin Fox, Dave Neilson and Matt Jones will battle it out.

But the weekend is sure to be a screamer for all ages with many of the youngsters looking forward to a fun weekend with mates on the waves.

Yesterday 15-year-old Mitchell Curtis, of Yamba, who will be competing in the junior division, said he was hoping to see some off-shore wind and a four-foot swell.

But he said he was just as happy to enjoy a solid weekend of surfing.

Heats, in order of age, are expected to start at 7am this morning with entrants in the grommets division first off the rank.

Competitors have been asked to assemble at the northern end of Pippi Beach.

"We'll be fully set up with tents and banners, we'll have a food tent and another tent for the Pippie Beach shirts and a judge's tent will be on the stair platform at the northern end," Curtis said.

"We're ready for the day and we're pretty organised, it's just a matter now of everyone turning up at 7am."

This year, a portion of the funds raised from raffles and donations will go towards an Indian Ocean tsunami relief appeal.

Curtis said although the contest and prize pool would run the same as in previous years, the public's contribution, in terms of Pippie Beach Classic t-shirt sales and food purchases, would ultimately determine how much would go towards the humanitarian appeal.

Yamba's Limited Edition Surfboard company have agreed to make a donation for one of the major raffles.

"This is something that has come up as a consequence of discussions with various sponsors and surfers from around the area; that they would like to see us do some fundraising," Curtis said.

"So we've taken on that role.

"The club believes this is a great opportunity for the local surfing community, many who have visited and surfed in the affected areas."

All winners will be announced at a dinner at the Yamba Bowling Club on Monday night.



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