KAYLENE Lollback could almost see her son out in the surf competing in the Jacob Lollback Memorial Board Race at Yamba on Saturday.
The mother of the champion lifesaver, who drowned in a freak diving accident on September 22 three years ago, was joined by Jacob's father Eric and members of the extended family as they watched and admired the competition which the memory of Jacob had inspired.
"It was really humbling, really nice and it makes us so proud," Mrs Lollback said.
"But really I have to give thanks to Cathy and Jim Dougherty for organising all of it."
Mr Dougherty was a surf lifesaving coach for Jacob through his early career and acknowledged as his "second father".
"They've done a great job. Thanks to them and all the competitors and sponsors for making it such a great day," Mrs Lollback said.
Mrs Lollback said this period of the year always brings sad memories and thoughts of what might have been, but also pride in what Jacob achieved in such a short time.
"It's not just life saving, it's people from the soccer club Jake played for and other sports as well," she said.
Mrs Lollback said the event was a fitting legacy for her son and was grateful for surf lifesaving for including it in its calendar.
"It allows everyone who knew Jake to come," she said.
"And it's nice for us to see them all again."