Sawtell sisters go for gold
SURF stars Courtney and Bonnie Hancock will be out to make up lost ground in today’s second round of the Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain IronWoman event at Bondi.
Courtney was third and Bonnie wound up in 10th position behind Liz Pluimers and defending champion Alicia Marriott in the opening fixture at Currumbin on November 21.
But today’s three-event knockout format will bring the two Sawtell sisters and their preferred front-running style into contention, providing they are on the pace in the opening race and able to dictate terms.
The first round will consist of a board leg followed by a swim leg and finally a ski leg, with a 100m sprint in between each.
Four athletes will be eliminated each round, but in an intriguing twist, the winner of race one and two can choose the first leg of the next race.
With both girls best on the swim leg, it would give a major advantage to win that first race and then be in a position to set the agenda for the rest of the afternoon.
It’s not beyond them after a similar pattern to the Coolangatta Gold had the Hancock girls joining Marriott in front to break up the field.
That outcome has filled Bonnie with confidence with a big leap up the table expected today.
“The (Coolangatta) Gold gave me confidence as I was with the top girls for a long way,” Bonnie said.
“This will be an advantage in the first hour (of the IronWoman) because the Gold was so fast-paced throughout the first few parts.”
Courtney arrived in Sydney mid-week and undertook a battery of promotional appear- ances for the event with fellow competitor Tara Coleman.
They were joined at Bondi Surf Club by brothers Shannon and Caine Eckstein before yesterday’s final training and briefing on the host beach.
Despite still waiting for that breakthrough victory, Courtney’s profile in the glamour stakes continues to soar and she’s currently in the top five in a newspaper competition being run to find the Gold Coast’s sexiest woman.