Yamba answers call to oars

MEMBERS of the Yamba Surf Life Saving Club could soon be showcasing their skills in Turkey in the name of the Anzacs.

The Yamba surf club is one of four clubs from Australia and New Zealand to be selected to participate in two demonstration carnivals in Turkey this year in the lead-up to the 100th anniversary of the Anzac landing at Gallipoli in 2015.

Event organiser Paul Murphy, of Military History Tours Australia, said his company, along with the Australian Government, had been asked to come up with some cultural activities to be held at Gallipoli in the week leading up to the 100th Anzac anniversary that would involve Australian, New Zealand and Turkish people.

Mr Murphy said surf clubs were just starting to open up across Australia in the early 1900s and many diggers who went to Gallipoli had been surf club members.

“Many of them never left Gallipoli,” Mr Murphy said.

The plan for 2015 would involve up to 100 surf boat crews from the three nations racing down the Dardanelles, into the Aegean Sea and on to Gaba Tepe, the location first planned for the Anzac landing in 1915.

Because the Yamba surf club was one of the first four surf clubs to register to participate in the 2015 race, the club has also been asked to participate in two demonstration carnivals in Turkey in August this year. The other clubs will be McMasters Beach, Forster and Lyall Bay (NZ).

Mr Murphy said the surf clubs will be sponsored to take a contingent of members to Turkey, where they will demonstrate their skills at a carnival on the Black Sea and then at Anzac Cove.

It will also be one of the first opportunities Turkish people interested in taking part in the 2015 surf boat race will have to see the sport in action.

Mr Murphy said organisers were hoping the Australian and New Zealand crews would share their skills with the Turks and even leave some old surf club gear behind so they could start training.

YSLSC president Alan Schofield said the club was looking for expressions of interest from active members wishing to be considered for team selection for the August trip. For more information or to apply contact Mr Schofield on 0429 669 257 or email alschofield@bigpond.com.au by January 31.

Forms are available from Morgan Bramwell-Baker at the club house or at Elders Yamba.

A selection committee of Jim Dougherty, Jim Saunders and the club executive will choose the team in February.

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