Under-17 board race winner Jacob Lollback on the dais
Under-17 board race winner Jacob Lollback on the dais

Special role for champs

By TIM HOWARD

YAMBA surf lifesaver and 2005 Daily Examiner Sports Star of the Year Jacob Lollback and former Yamba star Hugh Dougherty have a special role to play in Australian surf life saving.

The pair will join Surf Life Saving Australia's high performance squad after outstanding performances at the Australian championships that finished at the weekend.

Lollback continued his mortgage on Under-17 board races taking the National title in that age group.

He backed that up with a second placing in the Under-17 iron man and a third in the open board race.

Dougherty picked up two National titles in the open taplin relay and open lifesaver relay.

He also had a third in the open board relay, seventh in the open iron man and eighth in the open board race.

Surf Life Saving Australia head coach Brett Dowker said the inclusion of specialists, such as Lollback and Dougherty, into the squad was a new tactic for the high performance squad.

Selection in the squad is a pre-requisite for selection in the Australian team.

Yamba Surf Life Saving Club coach Jim Dougherty said Lollback's victory capped an outstanding 12-month period.

"His improvement goes hand in hand with a real growth spurt," Jim Dougherty said.

"Early in his career he was not as big and while he had the right technique, he was too small to be really successful.

"I've watched Jacob competing at recent events and have to would say he is the fastest paddler in flat water. He just needs to build up his race experience."

Current and former Clarence Valley competitors such as former Yamba star Alyce Bennett also put in outstanding performances at the carnival.

Bennett, now competing for North Burleigh, picked up a National title in the Under-19 female board race plus seconds in the Under-19 female ski race and Under-19 rescue tube team race. She also was third in the Under-19 iron woman.

Daily Examiner 2005 Sports Star of Year Top 10 finisher Scott McCartney, now competing for Cudgen Headland, was a member of the Cudgen team that won the Under-19 men's surf teams race.

Minnie-Water Wooli master's competitor Geoff Brodin, competing in the Masters competition also picked up a National title in the 45-49 years men's surfboard race.



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