Courtney Hancock is among the stars who will race in the Coolangatta Gold on Sunday.
Courtney Hancock is among the stars who will race in the Coolangatta Gold on Sunday.

Hancock planning for breakthrough

SURF star Courtney Hancock will today take time out from her competition build-up to have some fun.

The champion ironwoman will race with younger sister Bonnie in next Sunday’s iconic Coolangatta Gold but will break the training grind in a public appearance at Sorrento on the Gold Coast, allied to her other interests as a beauty therapist.

In front of the assembled media, the former Sawtellian will provide fellow Coolangatta Gold stars Caine Eckstein and Cory Hill with a special ‘pamper, facial and leg wax’ session to ensure their bodies are finely tuned before they set off on the tortuous 46km endurance course from Kurrawa to Northcliffe and down to Coolangatta and back.

After twice placing in the Gold, Hancock aims to make this her breakthrough season.

In 2008 she finished runner-up behind Hayley Bateup and last year was forced back into third place by her old rival, who in turn ran second behind Alyce Marriott.

But this time around, Bateup is out of the running, opening the door for something special.

And while times are affected by conditions, Hancock’s time of 3:18.50 last year was just five seconds outside the winning run recorded the previous year.

Bonnie placed fifth in 2009 and her presence in the line-up is likely to be a big incentive for her sibling to excel.

Meanwhile, the sisters are supporting the amazing comeback of Northcliffe club-mate Liz Pluimers who in last year’s race collapsed into unconsciousness after falling to the sand with the finish line in her sights.

Pluimers was adamant she was not going to attempt this year’s tortuous course but had a change of heart.

“I had a few people talking to me saying you’ve been doing the training so you may as well give it a go,” she said.

“Along with trying to get rid of the demons from last year it was only in the last couple of weeks that I actually decided to do it.”



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