Lollback eyes gold challenge
By MAX GODBEE
THE titles keep coming for young Yamba lifesaver Jacob Lollback.
On Sunday he won the Under-17 division of the Coolangatta Gold competition on the Gold Coast.
Unlike the senior race which covers a gruelling 46-kilometre of swimming, ski and board paddling and two run sections, the Under-17s were given a four-kilometre course.
It was tough enough, particularly with a choppy surf, a strong southerly blowing and cold rain falling.
Their journey started with a one-kilometre swim, followed by a 500-metre beach run, a two-kilometre board paddle and ended with a second 500-metre run.
Lollback, coached by Jim Dougherty, was eighth after the one-kilometre swim, did well in the first run and then took the lead with a powerful board leg. He ran gamely to hold all at bay in the final 500 metres of running to win by 50 metres from strong North Burleigh competitor Dane Kellah.
Lollback will complete the 2005-2006 season with the Yamba Surf Life Saving Club but is being sought by several other clubs for the next season.
Hugh Dougherty, now with the Tugun surf club but a former Yamba member and Australian Under-18 ironman champion, contested the open division of the Coolangatta Gold.
He did well for a top 10 placing in the big field with the race going to 19-year-old Caine Eckstein, competing for Kurrawa.
The race began with a 23-kilometre surf ski paddle from Surfers Paradise to Coolangatta and on the way back a tough ocean swim to Billinga, a beach run to Currum- bin, surf board paddle to Burleigh and a final-run leg from Burleigh back to the starting point at Surfers Paradise.
Eckstein, who won the world surfboard championship last year in Viareggio, Italy, completed Sunday's journey in four hours, 20 minutes and 15 seconds to win clearly from Jeremy Cotter, of Northcliff, with world ironman champion Shannon Eckstein third.
Sunday's 25.5-kilometre women's division of 10-kilometre ski, 5.5-kilometre board, 2.5-kilometre swim and 7.5 kilometre run was was won by Australian ironwoman champion Hayley Bateup.
Bateup finished well ahead of second place- getter, Perth competitor Alicia Marriott, with Elizabeth Plummer, of Northcliff third.