History for Hancock, and Ali’s day out at State Champs

Northcliffe’s Courtney Hancock stormed home in the final swim leg at Maroochydore this afternoon to win her first Queensland ironwoman title since 2011.

In doing so, she created history and joined the great Karla Gilbert as the only women to win three or more titles in the blue-ribbon event.

Hancock entered the final swim leg more than 50 metres behind early leader Jordan Mercer, but stormed home in the tricky Maroochydore surf to take the win.

“I’ve been really happy with how training’s been going and particularly in the back-half of the Nutri-Grain Series,” she said after the race.

“I was really aiming to get a third Queensland ironwoman title, and that was something I really wanted to do before I finished.

“The other person who’s done that is Karla Gilbert who’s a really good friend of mine and she’s been a hero and mentor to me for many years … and she’s still the Queen, I don’t think anyone will ever be able to take over her, but it’s really nice to get the third one today,” she said.

Meanwhile, Surfers Paradise’s Ali Day also claimed his third title in the ironman, taking the win ahead of Matt Poole and Caine Eckstein.

“It’s been an awesome year and started a long time ago back in October doing the (Coolangatta) Gold, and I really wanted to get myself up for that one today. It’s a classy field and I’m really stoked to come away with the win,” he said.

“But it’s not really about winning races, it’s just about going out and trying to perfect that ironman race and do the best you can on the day, and I’m really proud I did that today.”

Alexandra Headland’s Lani Pallister had a very successful debut in the Senior Championships, claiming gold in the U17 female Ironwoman, gold in the female open surf race, gold in the open female rescue tube and finished the day with a gold in the female Taplin relay as she and her team had a surprise win over Noosa, who had of the until then been undefeated all season.

In another three times a charm story , fellow Alex Head’s teammate Campbell Guthrie won the U19 male surf race, for the third year in a row.

The action continued right up to the final moments of the carnival, with Shannon Eckstein proving exactly why he is the greatest of call time, as he powered home in the last leg of the male Taplin relay, with an incredible swim, coming from quite a distance behind to make the final event of the day a victory for Northcliffe.

The 2018 Queensland Surf Life Saving Championships have seen more than 1,600 competitors from across the state hit the surf and sand over three days of fast and furious action.

In the overall results, Northcliffe took the top honours in the open to ensure they remain unbeaten at the Queensland Championships since 2004. However, they were pushed all the way after Alexandra Headland entered the third and final day of the championships holding a narrow seven point lead.

However, there was still plenty of joy for Alexandra Headland, with the club winning its third consecutive title in the masters event.

To view full masters results, click here.

To view full seniors results, click here.

To view highlights from the day’s action, visit SLSQ’s Facebook page.

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