Board racers' tribute to Lollback
A YEAR to the day since champion Clarence Valley surf lifesaver Jacob Lollback tragically drowned in a diving accident on the Great Barrier Reef, Yamba Surf Life Saving has announced a fitting memorial to the remarkable young man.
On Saturday the club will hold the first Jacob Lollback Memorial Board Paddling Competition, with more than $10,000 in cash and prizes up for grabs.
Event organiser Jim Dougherty said many of Australia's leading board paddlers would be in Yamba on Saturday for the event.
“Jacob was the fastest board paddler in Australia and this has been reflected in the quality of the field that will contest the open event,” Mr Dougherty said.
“Most of the top paddlers in Australia will be here. It's going to be very strong.
“There are going to be big fields in the other age events as well. The under-15s entries are particularly strong.
“We've had clubs like Noosa Heads ring and say they are sending a team of 15 or so.”
Sponsors have come to the party as well, with leading board makers Dolphin, Kracka and Xcel all donating boards valued about $1600 each to be used as lucky draw prizes throughout the day.
“We've had heaps of other sponsors contributing to the day as well,” Mr Dougherty said.
Mr Dougherty, who was an early coach of Jacob and acknowledged as his second father, said Saturday's event was going to be an emotional time for a lot of people.
“I think the turnout on Saturday is going to show how highly Jacob was regarded in surf lifesaving,” Mr Dougherty said.
“He was not only a champion competitor but also very popular as a person.”
Mr Dougherty said this week the club unveiled a special memorial to Jacob that would hang in the Yamba clubhouse.
A special board donated by Kellogg's Nutri-Grain has been covered along the bottom with images of Jacob competing, as well as his competition record.
“It will hang in the clubhouse history section,” he said.