Queens of surf

SAWTELL sisters Courtney and Bonnie Hancock have become the first set of sisters to qualify for the Nutri-Grain Ironman Series in the prestigious five-year history of the event.

Now representing the Northcliffe club on the Gold Coast, older sister Courtney, 19, and her 17-year-old sibling Bonnie shone last weekend at the series trials to grab two of only 18 available spots for the surf lifesaving elite.

"It feels great to qualify for the series and for Bonnie to do it as well is unbelievable," Courtney said.

Now living on the Gold Coast, Courtney finished second on points gained over the weekend behind former Australian champion Naomi Flood.

After finishing 10th at the gruelling Coolangatta Gold, the eldest of the three talented Hancock sisters had everyone taking notice with two wins on the Saturday and followed up with a second and a seventh on the Sunday.

Bonnie, who recently completed her HSC proved that age isn't everything in sport when she finished in seventh position on the points table even though she was the youngest competitor at Redcliffe's Sutton Beach.

Easily considered the rookie of the field when the series gets underway in three week's time, Bonnie will have the advantage of being able to get some advice from her big sister.

Even though the pair will be rivals on the water, Courtney says she's more than happy to help Bonnie out.

"I'll be helping Bonnie out because it can be a bit daunting when you get there," she added.

"When you get there it's very exciting because there are cameras and people everywhere so I'll make sure that I can give her a helping hand where I can."

The $100,000 series begins at Kurrawa on the Gold Coast with the final at Sydney's Coogee Beach on March 1.

When the series is complete, the pair will be preparing for the national titles to be held in April.

AFL fixture offers lots of chances to get to know the enemy

AFL fixture offers lots of chances to get to know the enemy

AFL North Coast clubs will meet five times each in 15 round comp.

Environmental activists rally in Bellingen

Environmental activists rally in Bellingen

Protest against logging operations near Kalang River.

Rare bird sighting

Rare bird sighting

Unusual sighting made on the Coffs Coast.

Local Partners