Ready for anything
By DAVID MOASE
THERE seems to be nothing like a major surf life saving carnival for attracting the rain but Woolgoolga club president Les Pepper and his members were yesterday just happy they had a roof over their head.
It was last December that Mr Pepper was faced with two major problems ? the surf life saving club had just lost its entire roof in a wild storm and the NSW Country Championships the club was to host were only about six weeks away.
Torn off amid strong winds and rain on the morning of December 1, the roof had landed some 200 metres away and the top floor of the clubhouse was sodden.
That morning Mr Pepper said with the country championships and the Christmas holidays just around the corner, the roof would have to be replaced within two weeks.
"It took only eight days," he said yesterday.
"Steve Smith Constructions did a great job and the council has been really good, too."
The main evidence of the storm damage is water stains down the walls in the clubhouse but that will hardly be noticed today, tomorrow and Sunday when more than 1500 competitors ? 810 juniors and 770 masters and open ? descend on the beach for the country championships.
More than 75 per cent of country surf clubs will be represented at the carnival, with teams from Cudgen Headland in the far north of the State to Moruya in the south.
With the number of competitors' family, friends and supporters expected at Woolgoolga estimated about 3000, the town's population is set to double this weekend.
"This is the biggest carnival the club has ever hosted and all our members are working to make it a success," Mr Pepper said.
Woolgoolga Chamber of Commerce president Gordon Abbott said no estimate had been done on what sort of financial boost the championships would provide, but predicted it would be an exciting few days.
"Local businesses are expecting a bumper weekend," he said.
"It is a great chance for plenty of people to come down to the beach to get behind the competitors."