Courtney surf queen
By BRAD GREENSHIELDS
IF you're the type of person that's impressed by the ability of Lleyton Hewitt to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat then you should have been at Woolgoolga Beach yesterday.
During the final of yesterday's open ironwoman, Sawtell iron woman Courtney Hancock overcame a nightmare start to the race to come from last to first in an amazing exhibition of persistence and stamina at the NSW Country Surf Life Saving championships.
In the first 30 seconds of the race, Hancock fell off her ski not once but twice to drop back to the tail of the field.
This would've crushed the spirit of a lesser athlete but as the saying goes, 'You just gotta get back on the horse'.
By the end of the ski leg Hancock had already moved up to third position, sat in second after the board leg and ended up winning with time to spare after a very strong swim leg.
"It was pretty frustrating coming off the ski but it was hard out there as the sets were coming from everywhere," she said of her start.
"It's definitely my weakest leg as it's my first season on it, I think you need at least a year on the ski."
She's the first to admit though that the swim leg is her strongest and when she found herself within striking distance at the beginning of the final leg her confidence rose.
Duelling with Belinda Neville from Tacking Point for victory, Hancock had a lucky break that helped ensure that she crossed the line first.
"I caught a good wave in on the board which allowed me to have a breather," she explained.
Finishing order: 1st Courtney Hancock (Sawtell), 2nd - Belinda Neville (Tacking Point), 3rd - Rique Shaman (Byron Bay), 4th - Meggie Helson (Shell Harbour).