Once a group of surfers camped here for Billabong
By JURIS GRANEY
THE Billabong girls team, featuring their top 32 surfers in the country, is coming to Yamba for a four-day training camp starting Tuesday.
The group, which includes current World Qualifying Series number one Rebecca Woods, runner-up in the junior series Nicola Atherton and surfer/model Ashley Cheadle.
The surfers will also be joined by Billabong-sponsored skateboarders, snowboarders and musicians, bringing the entire squad up to 45.
Also on the list of those coming is retiring pro-surfer Luke Egan, who has joined Billabong as the men's marketing manager.
Of the snowboarders, Abby Bright, who recently won the girl's session of the Billabong World Junior Pro in Les 2 Alpes, will be taking to the waves to learn how to surf.
Local surf instructor Jeremy Walters has been commissioned to help the skaters and snowboarders come to grips with the local waves.
Girl's team coordinator Kellie Hughes told The Daily Examiner that even though some of the surfers had not surfed Yamba and Angourie, its reputation as one of the top spots in Australia ensured the Gold Coast-based troupe headed south before summer.
"The girls are so excited to be coming down to Yamba," Kellie said.
"Most of them have never surfed there, but Yamba is such a hardcore surfing town it will be good for them.
"Personally I like to come here because it has history, it is one of the places where our surfing culture begun."
The four-day camp will include two surfs per day as well as a 'Survivor' style boot camp at various parks and beaches around the town.
"You will probably see us in the parks doing kick boxing training as we have just employed a fitness trainer for Billabong," she said.
The group is utilising all local companies and help on their trip, booking into the Calypso Caravan Park, hiring the karaoke machine from Yamba Party Hire for a presentation night at the Yamba Bowling Club and buying awards from the town's retailers.
Calypso Caravan Park manager Karen Toms said the economic benefits to the region would be substantial.
"This is very exciting for us personally, but also for Yamba," Mrs Toms said.
"The exposure of the camp being held in Yamba will be great advertising for the region and I am not sure of their protocols, but we would be pushing for them to have this here in Yamba annually."
Mrs Toms said she was approached by organisers of the camp to see if they could accommodate the large group and ended up helping them with other logis- tical issues.