Surf Life Saving Australia, October 6, 2016: Australia’s fittest surf lifesavers will take to the waters of the Gold Coast on October 15 and 16 for the 16th running of the iconic Coates Hire Coolangatta Gold.
The race, born out of the 1984 movie of the same name, has a strong and proud tradition in the history of surf lifesaving.
Three-time winner Ali Day (2012, 2013, 2015) from Surfers Paradise and Northcliffe’s previous winner, celebrated Australian Champion and Nutri-Grain Series winner Courtney Hancock (2011) were joined at today’s launch by Currumbin’s Australian Open board champion Hayden White and two-time Australian Ironwoman champion Rebecca Creedy (Kurrawa) who has been on the Gold podium the last two years.
Day is the only previous Elite winner to line up in this year’s Elite Male race whilst Hancock is the only previous women’s winner in the Elite Female.
The 25-strong men’s field will be one of the strongest in years when it comes to depth and talent and will include:
- 2014 runner-up Jake Nicholson (Northliffe) and previous Short Course winners Kendrick Louis (Manly) and Nathan Gray (Surfers Paradise)
- Four-time runner-up Nathan Smith (Manly) who rolled his ankle training yesterday and faces a countdown to be ready in time.
- Noted Ironmen and two-time Molokai Channel paddleboard champion Matt Bevilacqua (Kurrawa) and Tanyn Lyndon as well as;
- Young gun Alex Wright (Alexandra Headland), who won the 2015 Under 19 Short Course Coolangatta Gold before landing the Under 19 board and ski National titles at this year’s Australian Championships.
For Day, a host of competition and some of it from his old stomping ground on the NSW South Coast.
He will be joined by two other South Coast products in White (Currumbin) who was fourth in the Gold in 2013 and last year’s U19 winner Wright.
Both have followed similar paths to Day, with White winning Australian championships with his former Warilla team mate at Mooloolaba before taking his maiden Australian title in the open board last year with the Currumbin Vikings.
The former Nowra-Culburra and Warilla Barrack Point Nipper and Junior graduated to a three-time Coolangatta Gold winner at Mooloolaba under coach and former winner Michael King (1991).
Hancock and Creedy will be joined by 2015-16 Nutri-Grain Series winner and six-time Molokai Channel paddleboard champion Jordan Mercer, who is under an ankle injury cloud and will decideher fate on Monday.
Jordan’s father Darren Mercer won the Coolangatta Gold in 1990 and uncle Dean Mercer had an on-going love affair with the race finishing third to his brother and Zane Holmes and second to Caine Eckstein.
Acting CEO Greg Meagher, said the SLSA was thrilled to again join with event sponsor Coates Hire to host the 2016 Coates Hire Coolangatta Gold which is supported by strategic partner Queensland Government through Tourism and Events Queensland.
“We’re delighted to have Coates Hire on board again and certainly value their partnership and support for such a great event as the Coolangatta Gold,” said Meagher.
“I can sense a real buzz around the place and events like the Gold can certainly bring out the best in our athletes and our team and I encourage the people of South East Queensland in particular to come out and cheer on these amazing athletes.
“I know all the clubs along the course will be out in force cheering in their heroes.
“I thank the athletes here today for supporting this launch and we look forward to what I am sure will be a great weekend of racing and a celebration of surf sports here at Coolangatta.”
Coates Hire National Marketing and Sponsorship Manager, Elle Fleming said: “On behalf of the team at Coates Hire we are again delighted to be associated as the naming rights sponsor for the iconic Coolangatta Gold.
“This is the second year that Coates Hire has partnered with the Coolangatta Gold and we are very proud and privileged to be apart of this amazing event.
“The partnership closely aligns to our strong focus on Safety and Community and enables us to showcase our company’s ability to provide equipment and event services in a challenging logistical environment.
“Multiple event sites need to be built over a broad area and then removed over a relatively short time, and our event teams will make this happen.
“Surf lifesaving has a strong and rich history in Australian culture and we can’t wait until next weekend to celebrate the 16th running of the toughest ironman race on the calendar.”
The Coates Hire Coolangatta Gold has grown from one iconic race won by Guy Leech 32 years ago to a weekend of celebration for Elite males and females, Youth, Masters and Teams over the Short Course (Saturday, October 15) and Long Course (Sunday, October 16).
Over three decades there have been eight winners since Leech’s back-to-back wins in the Elite Male Long Course and five winners in the Elite Female since Hayley Bateup’s first of three wins in 2005.
The Coates Hire Coolangatta Gold is proudly supported by the Queensland Government through Tourism and Events Queensland’s It’s Live! in Queensland major events calendar.
Hanson Media Group
2016 Coates Hire Coolangatta Gold
Issued on behalf of Surf Life Saving Australia by
Hanson Media Group
M: 0407 385 160
Ian Hanson| Media Manager Triathlon Australia Managing Director
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