Thursday throwback: 1979 Yarads 3000 surf carnival

Sunday November 18 1979: “THE spectacular success of the Yarads 3000 carnival at Old Bar has put the surf life saving movement in the area back on the top pedestal of sport.’’

So trumpeted the Manning River Times in a front page article on Tuesday November 20 1979. This concerned the first Yarads carnival that promoted competition between Lower North Coast and Mid North Coast Branch clubs.

“Bruce and John Yarad put their heads together at the start of the season to consider what they could do to inject more interest into local surf carnivals,’’ the report continued.

Both had long association with the surf movement and the Old Bar club, where Bruce is a life member, the Times further explained.

So the brothers decided to invest $3000 into the first carnival of the season.

The result was staggering, with a huge crowd watching the action while the carnival attracted 300 competitors.

However, it was a tough day for Lower North Coast competitors, in the time when the branch only had four clubs - Taree Old Bar, Crowdy Head, Black Head and Forster. The numerically stronger Mid North Coast dominated the pointscore and took home the Yarads trophy while Port Macquarie’s Fred Middleton was named competitor of the carnival.

This was also before women were allowed full membership to surf clubs. So their participation was limited to a march past and a beach girl competition. This was won by Georgina McPherson from Tinonee, with Maree Minter of Frederickton second.

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