Titles to honour a king of the surf



A DECISION is still to be made on whether the Pacific Hotel Surfing Far North Coast (SFNC) Regional Titles will be finished in Yamba after they were postponed on Sunday following the death of SFNC president Ben King.

SFNC administrator Keith Anderson said he hoped the competition could be completed in Yamba rather than at the next round of the titles in Cabarita at the end of April.

"My idea, and I've spoken to several senior surfers about this, is that we go back to Yamba where we can have a service and lay wreaths and wear arm bands and probably also get someone to counsel the kids, because they need that," he said.

"I think that by going back to Yamba it will help us close it all because if we ran away from it and went to Cabarita it would still be here next year for us, so I think we have to go back."

Mr Anderson said finishing the competition in Yamba would prove a fitting honour to Mr King's memory.

"Ben loved a beer and a party so we might as well go back there, do the contest, head to the pub, have our presentation and have a few beers and that would close it all," he said.

"It's gonna be so hard to do, we're all going to break down, but it will close it."

Angourie resident Rodney Dahlberg, who knew Mr King for close to 20 years, said he would be missed by all who knew him.

"He was a great guy and a real family man ? he was just a really great bloke," he said.

"He was a really, really top bloke and I don't think you would find anyone who would say a bad word about him."

Mr Anderson said up until the death of Mr King, the competition had been running extremely well, with 95 competitors competing in nine categories.

Over eight hours of competition surfing was held on the Saturday, with just semi-finals and finals of junior boys, open men, girls and over 40s categories to be completed.

Mr Anderson said Mr King had just won his semi-final in the over 40s when tragedy struck.

"He actually won that semi so he went out a winner doing something he loved doing," he said.



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