Hancock hoping history repeats
CONSISTENCY and perseverance may yet deliver Courtney Hancock the 2010-11 Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain Ironwoman crown.
The former Sawtell nipper finished third behind series leader Liz Pluimers in round two at Bondi on Friday but remains within reach of her Northcliffe club-mate.
After two rounds Pluimers tops the table with 40 points.
Hancock (36) is second ahead of defending series champion Alicia Marriott (35).
Pluimers put on a clinic for her rivals at Bondi, leading from start to finish in the eight-woman final.
The original 20 starters were whittled to 14 after race one and then culled to eight after race two.
It was Pluimers’ second victory in as many races in the revamped series.
Northcliffe’s Kristyl Smith finished second with Hancock third to match her effort in the opening round at Currumbin last month.
Pluimers won the Currumbin event after overcoming a shocking start that had seemingly gifted Marriott the win.
However, Pluimers jagged a wave in the final board that allowed her to overhaul Marriott in the final run to the line.
At Bondi, things were different.
“The first one (at Currumbin) I felt a little bit bad,” Pluimers said of her successful stealth attack.
“I felt like I really didn’t deserve it because I caught that massive wave and pulled up alongside Alicia.
“Today I went out there and led from the front and that felt really good and proved I should be up there.”
While Pluimers has emerged as the form athlete, Hancock will be hoping history repeats as she seeks a breakthrough title.
The last time Pluimers won the championship – three summers ago – she didn’t win a race, instead benefiting from consistent results.
If Hancock is unable to claim a win in the three remaining rounds, continuing to place will keep her within reach of overall victory.
Meanwhile, it was a double celebration for the Hancock family on Friday with Courtney’s younger sister Bonnie running a bold race to finish seventh, after a disappointing 10th in the opening round.
Bonnie’s combined points tally of 25 elevates her to seventh (of 21 athletes) overall.
Round three of the series will be contested at Coolum on the Sunshine Coast in December 19.
The race will adopt the demanding enduro format featured in round one.