Starters in the men’s section of the 2km ocean swim at Convent Beach yesterday take to the water.
Starters in the men’s section of the 2km ocean swim at Convent Beach yesterday take to the water. Debrah Novak

Local surf stars shine at Yamba

HUGH Dougherty and Alyce Bennett were all smiles after taking out the Yamba Surf Life Saving Club male and female 700m and 2km Ocean Swims on Sunday.

The two locals, who now compete on the Gold Coast, proved too strong for their rivals, winning their events in testing conditions

Both major events had to be moved to Convent Beach due to unsafe conditions at Main Beach, which included a dangerous rip.

“We had to move the event to Convent Beach for the start and finish of both races because of dangerous conditions of Main Beach,” Yamba Surf Life Saving Club spokesman Jim Dougherty said.

“The surf was quite rippy and choppy and Convent Beach, being more protected and sheltered, made it much easier for the competitors.”

Hugh Dougherty used the 700m swim as a warm up to the 2km event and never looked in doubt from the time he entered the water.

“It was a bit choppy but wasn’t too bad. It was hard coming in against a rip, that was the hardest part ... getting back to the beach,” he said.

Bennett said she had a bit of luck in winning both events and was fortunate to hold a good wave on the way back into the beach.

“I was pretty lucky in both,” Bennett said. “I was neck and neck with one of the younger girls and I just happened to get a wave and she didn’t.

“There was a rip running out and I just seemed to find it every time on the way in.”

Bennett admitted she was a little underdone fitness wise as her preparation for the event was not ideal.

“I’m a bit behind the eight-ball. I usually compete in the Coolangatta Gold and I didn’t do that this year, I’m not quite where I should be,” she said.

Marlee Green came a close second behind Bennett in both the 700m and 2km swims, with Shivaun Street taking out third placing. In the men’s events James Stuart grabbed second position behind Dougherty in both events while Michael Sheil (700m) and Colin Braund (2km) crossed the finish line in third.

The day concluded with the Dash for Cash, which was preceded by a moving tribute to Yamba Surf Club member Jacob Lollback, who died tragically earlier this year. Jacob won the 2km swim last year.

In both Dash for Cash races it came down to who could hold the wave.

The men’s winner was Hayden Thomas, with Ella Basalo taking out the women’s.

Results

700m Ocean Swim

Men: 1 Hugh Dougherty, 2 James Stuart, 3 Michael Sheil. Women: 1 Alyce Bennett, 2 Marlee Green, 3 Shivaun Street .

Age Groups

10-14 years: Male Ben Schafer, Female Ella May Basalo; 15-19: Male Hayden Thomas Female Riley Maynard; 20-29: Male Joshua McHugh Female Haley Thompson; 30-39: Male Joe Fahey Female Hayley Taylor; 40-49: Male David O’Brien Female Molly Schafer: 50-59: Male Mark Raeburn Female Kim Elvery; 60-69 years: Male Barry O’Connell

Female Jan Klein; 70+:

Male Bill Dougherty.

2000m Ocean Swim

Men: 1 Hugh Dougherty, 2 James Stuart, 3 Colin Braund. Women: 1 Alyce Bennett, 2 Marlee Green, 3 Shivaun Street.

Age Groups

12-14: Male Jye Rogers Female Kiah Bennett; 15-19: Male Bill Marsh Female Alanna Street; 20-29: Male Michael Sheil Female Hayley Thomson; 30-39: Male Joe Dougherty Female Julia Crilley; 40-49: Male Scott Unicomb Female Molly Schafer; 50-59: Male John Townend Female Alexandra Evans; 60-69: Male Jim Shafer Female Susan Melton-Hill.

Dash for Cash

Men: 1 Hayden Thomas, 2 Hugh Dougherty, 3 Scott McCartney. Women: 1 Ella Basalo, 2 Shivaun Street, 3 Alyce Bennett.



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