Alex Heads crowned endurance kings at Queensland Champs

The 2017 Queensland Endurance Championships have been run and won at Coolangatta on the Gold Coast, with Alexandra Headland taking out the top honours after a tough day of competition.

The Sunshine Coast club mastered the tricky conditions to finish the day on 167 points, edging out Noosa Heads by just one point for this year’s title.

Gold Coast clubs Kurrawa, Southport, and Northcliffe rounded out the top five.

The 2017 Championships saw more than 560 competitors from 41 clubs across Queensland and interstate converge on Coolangatta for the first major carnival of the season.

Surf lifesavers aged from under-11 through to opens and masters put everything on the line in their quest for state glory across a range of long-distance events including gruelling 10km skis, 2km surf swims, 4km board paddles, and beach runs.

Alexandra Headland and Noosa were neck and neck for the majority of the day but a raft of strong performances, including 28 podium finishes and a number of other top five results, would ultimately prove the difference.

Ironman champion Grant Kenny led from the front on his way to winning the 50-54 years 2km board paddle and 6km ski paddle, while son Jett claimed gold in the open male 10km surf ski.

The club also picked up wins in the 55-59 years female 2km board paddle (Jane MacDonnell), 45-49 years female 4km Beach Run (Jacqui Lees), under-12 female 2km beach run (Sky Antoniolli), and under-15 female 2km surf swim (Tayla Halliday).

There was also plenty of joy for other clubs, with medals going to lifesavers from all across the south east.

SLSQ sports manager Stuart Hogben said there was a lot of strong racing across the day.

“This is the first major carnival of the season for a lot of these competitors, so it was always going to be a good hit out for them and a chance to see how they’re travelling after the winter months,” he said.

“Conditions were quite tricky across the day, with northerly winds and a bit of swell, but it was a good challenge for our lifesavers.

“These longer endurance-style events really test the skills, mental toughness, and fitness of our competitors and it was great to see so many of them dig deep across the day and produce some fantastic results.

“Congratulations to Alexandra Headland for taking out this year’s title, and all of our clubs who competed across the day,” he said.

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