On the stretch of sand that made her famous at BMD Northcliffe, Courtney Hancock won her second Shaw and Partners Financial Services Shannon Eckstein Iron classic in giant surf that tested the entire field, after she won her first in 2019.
The 34 year old led early and survived an onslaught in the final ski leg to claim a famous victory that she said capped off a horror year.
“It just seems like nothing had gone right but I really felt like myself today and it all turned around, I am so emotional right now,” she said.
Young guns Olivia Corrin (BMD Northcliffe) and TIarnee Massie (Maroochydore) rounded out the podium in a race that had finishers still crossing the line 15mins after the winners due to the size of the surf that battered Northcliffe beach.
In the men’s event Cory Taylor credited his early mentor and the races namesake for his success,
“I moved here from NZ and Shannon was here, I learnt from him, his professionalism and how to be better and I was lucky to train alongside him,” he said.
Taylor, an accountant by day, said he’d be happy to find a way to spend the the $25,000 winners cheque.
Clubmate Matt Bevilacqua finished in second while Manly’s Kendrick Louis turned back the clock to finish on the podium.
Alexandra Headland Swim star Lani Pallister was in the cash as well after she claimed the first ever bonus in Summer of Surf history, winning the three 10,000 point events in the surf race. Sparing partners Naomi Scott and Georgia Miller rounded out the podium but Pallister was as dominant as anyone we’ve seen in Summer of Surf history.
Redhead workhorse Dan Collins claimed the men’s swim ahead of junior star Callum Brennan and Manly’s Hayden Cotter who was chasing a $10,000 bonus of his own but just couldn’t beat Collins to the line.
An upset in the men’s board race saw Maroochydore’s Joel Piper take an unlikely victory ahead of North Cronulla’s Will Budd and Surfers Paradise Kye Taylor.
In the women’s board race Hannah Scully continued her love affair with giant surf, dominating early in the day to win easily over junior Australian Champion Lily Finati and Maroochy’s Dom Stitt.
In the men’s Ski Avoca Olympic Bronze medallist Lachie Tame made it back to back wins at the Shannon Eckstien Ironman classic and refused to call it quits on his career.
“I’ll never stop, I’ll keep racing until I die,” he joked.
Close mates Mitchell Trim and Burleigh’s Beau Wheeler rounded out the podium, while on the women’s side Kiwi Danielle McKenzie was the second person to win a bonus, taking home $10,000 with 2 big event wins. XXX and Pheobe Wills-Grace ran second and third to wrap up the individual events.
Northcliffe then finished the event by making it three straight wins in the 6 person mixed taplin relay, The B team which included Auden Parish, Riley Fitsimmons, Bailey Armstrong, Ruby Meehan, Georgia Miller and Harriet Brown found a way to win a race that had 11 lead changes and took home the $20,000 cash prize, Alexandra Headland finished with silver and Newport in Bronze.
In the overall standings, Courtney Hancock and Zach Morris claimed the $10,000 bonus and the Subaru XV in the iron after it came down to the final race. Just 1 race position separated the winners from second in a 12 race series.
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