Coffs splashes out
By GREG WHITE
PARK Beach was crowded on Saturday and Sunday for the 34th Coffs Harbour Surf Life Saving Club Interstate Surfcraft Carnival.
With a three- to four-metre swell and the rain holding off despite leaden skies for much of the weekend, one of the biggest regional carnivals of its type again attracted the best surf boat crews, iron persons and board and ski competitors in the country, all chasing prize money in excess of $20,000
Sixty clubs entered the carnival with 170 boats crews battling in six divisions.
Gold Coast clubs were best represented with Currumbin Stockland Barbarians chasing back-to-back victories in the Open Men's Surfboat division to qualify them for the Australian interstate championships at Bondi next week.
Also competing from north of the border were Queensland state champions Kurrawa Collectors and three up-and-coming crews from North Burleigh.
From the local entries Woolgoolga Under-19s were late yesterday chasing a finals berth with veteran surfer Trevor Clarke switching from the club's champion Masters' team to crew for the youngsters.
Meanwhile, dual Australian champion Kristy Harris battled a severe midweek training injury to be fit enough to compete in the iron woman and ski divisions, her first outing since winning the Australian title at Scarborough, Western Australia, last March.
Harris suffered shoulder and back injuries when hit by a wayward board in the surf at Northcliffe, leaving a large lump on her back the latest in a line of injuries which started with an operation to repair cartilage damage at the beginning of the year.
She had to race locally to satisfy national selectors she was fit enough to join the national team for the three-day international centenary challenge starting at Bondi on Thursday.