Courtney Hancock establishes a commanding lead on the way to winning the open ironwoman at Maroubra Beach on Saturday.
Courtney Hancock establishes a commanding lead on the way to winning the open ironwoman at Maroubra Beach on Saturday.

It?s open season for Hancock



SAWTELL'S Courtney Hancock has had a disrupted start to the 2006/07 season, however, her form in the third round of the NSW Surf Premiership at Maroubra on Saturday was second to none.

Despite a lack of recent competition, the North Coast athlete not only took out the under-19 ironwoman, but upstaged her more fancied opponents to take out the open event.

Competing up an age against some of the state's best surf sports athletes, Hancock led from the start on the ski, maintained her form in the swim and extended even further in the final board leg.

So dominant was her performance, her rivals were still rounding the turning buoys when Hancock was leaving the water for the final time.

Candice Falzon (North Bondi) finished second, while Jessica Parr (Terrigal) maintained her lead in the overall Premiership by finishing third.

Brittany Sharkey (Bulli) ? just back from Europe after representing Australia at the German Cup ? finished fourth, however, she did manage to take out the open surf race earlier in the day.

Hancock said that although the start of her season had been unique, she is now looking forward to the rest of the season, including the chance to once again force her way into the State team at next weekend's NSW Interbranch Championships at Crowdy Head.

"This is actually my first carnival after the Coolangatta Gold and then the HSC, so I've been training really hard and it's good to be back out there competing," Hancock said.

With intermittent wave sets combined with a southerly which whipped up around 15 minutes before the start of the race, conditions were extremely challenging, however, Hancock managed to use her surf skills better than her opponents to claim the U19-Open ironwoman double.

"It was really hard out there; coming in it was great because there were runners everywhere, but going out it was really all over the place," she said.

The ironwoman double was only one part of Hancock's great day at Maroubra.

She also won the under-19 surf race and board, while she finished third in the ski race.

Courtney's sister Bonnie also had a great day, winning the under-17 ironwoman and board, and placing second in the surf race.

The pair then combined with clubmate Kayla Russell to win the under-19 board relay and open taplin relay for Sawtell.



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