MAN TO BEAT: Hugh Dougherty will defend his Yamba Sportsfest crown in January.
MAN TO BEAT: Hugh Dougherty will defend his Yamba Sportsfest crown in January.

Sportsfest showdown in doubt

By TONY WHITE

THE highly anticipated showdown between surf stars Hugh Dougherty and Adam Wood in next month's Sportsfest at Yamba remains in doubt.

Wood, the 2001 Daily Examiner Sports Star of the Year, badly sprained an ankle playing soccer with his brother at Woolgoolga last week.

The injury has cast doubt on his appearance at the popular event to be conducted on Sunday, January 2 at Whiting Beach.

Wood is currently on crutches.

The Red Rock-Corindi lifesaver and Dougherty are both former junior Australian surf lifesaving champions.

Last year Wood missed Sportsfest after suffering a broken wrist in a cycling accident.

"We're still hopeful both can compete. It's a showdown that has created a lot of talk and a clash people have been waiting for for a long time," Sportsfest organiser Ray Hunt said.

Dougherty is competing in the national Nutri-Grain IronMan Series and Wood has turned to triathlons in a bid to make the Australian team for the next World Cup.

Dougherty is the reigning male Sportsfest champion.

Women's champion Alyce Bennett will also defend her crown.

Apart from the blue ribband events ? the Yamba Tiles & Lights 3km run and Greg Zietsch Electrical 750m swim ? organisers have added more events and prizemoney.

The Westlawn Finance Aquathon ? a 2km run, 750m swim and 2km run ? is another highlight.

More running and swimming events for children will be on the agenda, inviting some of the Valley's finest athletes ranging from Under-5 to Over-75 years to compete. Other well known athletes expected to compete include a number of local juniors progressing through the Academy of Sport like Jacob Lollback (swimming) and Mat Thompson (triathlon).

Apart from the stars it's a chance for all comers to have a fun day out competing, with monies raised going towards the Yamba Sporting Complex.

Registration is between 7am to 8am.



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