Surf Life Saving Australia, October 14, 2016: Australia’s fittest lifesavers will converge onto the Gold Coast this weekend chasing a slice of sporting history – a place alongside the winners of the ionic Coolangatta Gold.
Names like Guy Leech, Darren Mercer, Michael King, Rhys Drury, Zane Holmes, Caine Eckstein, Josh Minogue and Ali Day are etched into the annals of the race first contested in 1984.
Since then the Coolangatta Gold has expanded with the first women’s race won by Hayley Bateup in 2005 and with Alicia Marriott, Courtney Hancock, Brodie Moir and Liz Pluimers also winning the famous race.
Hancock and Day will both line up on Sunday hoping to add to their spoils over the grueling Long Course – the 23km ski paddle from Coolangatta to Miami via-Broadbeach; 2.1km run to Burleigh Heads; 3.5km swim from Burleigh to North Burleigh and back; 6.1km board paddle fro Burleigh to Currumbin and the final 7.1km run from Currumbin to Coolangatta.
The 2011 winner Hancock will have two-time podium finisher and two-time Australian champion Rebecca Creedy and Short Course winner Allie Britton to contend with while Day will be up against one of the strongest fields ever assembled.
The withdrawal of 2016 Nutri-Grain Series winner Jordan Mercer from the women’s field and Nathan Smith from the men’s field will open up opportunities for potentially new podium finishers.
Manly’s Kendrick Louis, with two-time winner Leech in his corner, could be one to step up to the plate alongside the likes of fellow Ironman Series competitors Matt Bevilacqua, Tanyn Lyndon and Hayden White; young gun and Under 19 winner Alex Wright; Short Corse winner Nathan Gray and podium finisher Jake Nicholson.
Louis will spearhead a big team from Manly and for Leech it is like turning the clock back to 1984 when he and three Manly team mt5es Craig Riddington, Steve Wood and Graham Bruce dived into the unknown of the Coolangatta Gold.
“It’s great to see the Manly crew lining up in numbers and making the trek north for the iconic race and look I think from what I have seen that someone like Kendrick could certainly surprise,” said Leech.
“The change to Manly this season from Newport has already given him a new lease of life and he will head into the race ready to handle anything that comes his way.”
The 16th running of the Coolangatta Gold will attract endurance surf athletes from as far away as the USA to compete in one of the most challenging surf sport races in the world and test themselves alongside some of Australia’s greatest sporting figures.
From its inauguration in 1984, when Leech was crowned victor, the Coates Hire Coolangatta Gold event now attracts over 500 competitors across the Short Course, Teams and Masters categories, and those in the Long Course hoping to take home the coveted Gold title.
The Coates Hire Coolangatta Gold 2016 again sees the inclusion of the Youth Challenge event, which contributes to the overall event through encouraging the next generation of surf sports competitors to begin to make their mark from the age of 10, which is included in the following key dates for this year’s event:
MEDIA OPERATIONS FOR 2016 COATES HIRE COOLANGATTA GOLD
The action starts at:
- Saturday from 7:30 with the Elite, U19, Masters and Teams Short Course events and;
- Sunday at 7:30am with the Elite, U19, Masters and Teams Long Course races the Youth Challenge from 9:30
The SLSA will operate a Media Centre in Coolangatta Surf Club (beachside access) and will be open on each day from 6:30am.
Media are asked to report in to the Media Centre where transport will be available to assist in covering the day’s racing.
Results, full wrap and photos (from Harv Pix) and a TV VNR (from Castlemedia) will be available at the conclusion of the day’s action.
The estimated time of arrival of the first competitors on Saturday is expected to be around 10.30am and on Sunday from 11.30am.
Facebook: There will be a link to where live results will be throughout the weekend https://oztiming.com.au/events/view/466/coates-hire-coolangatta-gold
You can also follow all the action via:
Join the conversation: @coateshire #cooliegold
Live Race Updates: Ian Hanson (0407) 385 160/ David Moase (0431) 471 289
Hanson Media Group
M: 0407 385 160
Ian Hanson| Media Manager Triathlon Australia Managing Director
Hanson Media Group | P O Box 299 | West Burleigh Qld 4219
Phone: +61 7 5522 5556 | Mobile 0407 385 160 | Fax: +61 7 5522 5557