The start of the women’s Convent to Main Beach 2km swim last year in Yamba.
The start of the women’s Convent to Main Beach 2km swim last year in Yamba.

Big names for big event

MORE than 300 swimmers are expected to hit the water for the annual Convent to Main Beach swim at Yamba tomorrow.

The swim is one of the biggest events on the Yamba Surf Life Saving Club’s (YSLSC) calendar.

“There’s a cast of hundreds working hard getting everything ready, from organising the food, to the merchandise, entries and safety,” YSLSC swim co-ordinator Ray Burridge said.

“This year we’re hoping everything’s going to be bigger and better than ever.”

There are three main events on the program: a 700-metre swim starting at 10am, a two-kilometre swim at 11am and a 200-metre dash for cash at noon.

This year there’s some big names looking to win including triple Olympian and Commonwealth Games 800-metre gold medallist Hayley Lewis, Kellogs Nutri Grain Iron Man series competitors and ex-Yamba nippers Hugh Dougherty and Alyce Bennett, along with Byron Bay teenage swimming sensation Shannon Hulbert Green.

Mr Burridge said swimmers are also coming from Hong Kong, London, Sydney, Newcastle, Melbourne and Queensland as well as locally.

Swimmers can register at the surf club today from 11am to 3pm or on the day from 8am to 9.30am.

Entry fees are $15 for the 700m, $25 for the 2000m (both swims $35), and $10 for the dash-for-cash.

However, swimmers who enter tomorrow will be charged a $10 surcharge.

The big question on all competitors minds today is what will the ocean throw at them tomorrow.

Previous swims have been held in huge swells and mill pond conditions, but Mr Burridge has his own ideas.

“I’m picking it’s going to be ideal conditions with a bit of rain,” he said.

Before the 2km swim at 11am tomorrow, Yamba surf club will hold a tribute to Jacob Lollback, including a minute’s silence and the lowering of the flag.

Jacob, the winner of the two-kilometre swim last year, died earlier this year, aged 20.



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