Courtney Hancock.
Courtney Hancock. HARVIE ALLISON

Hancock triumphs over pain

COURTNEY Hancock capped off the hardest two weeks of her life by taking out one of the toughest events on the Australian sporting calendar yesterday.

The Gold Coast 23-year-old dedicated her Coolangatta Gold win to the memory of her late grandfather Ron Goodenough after finishing the 30.5km race in 3 hours 20.42 minutes.

Her preparation was thrown into turmoil two weeks ago when Goodenough, who she described as her best friend and mentor, passed away.

She returned from the funeral at Coffs Harbour three days before the race with her mind in a knot and questioning whether to compete.

However, she took the line full on inspiration wanting to win for her family.

"I've been so emotionally drained," she said.

"My grandfather, he was 90, but was my best friend in the whole world.

"He was such an amazing swimmer, I probably got my ability from him. Basically he was one of the main reasons I started surfing."

Hancock stormed up the beach at Kurrawa to win a sprint finish from her Northcliffe clubmate Elizabeth Pluimers.

A pack of six had broken away by the 4.5km board leg from Currumbin to Burleigh.

At that stage Noosa's Jordan Mercer, 17, was well in the mix, however, fell away in the penultimate swim leg to finish 11th Mooloolaba 17-year-old Danielle Allen was the best of the Sunshine Coast contingent, coming fourth with clubmate Kelly-Ann Perkins, 19, in sixth.

"I'm really happy with sixth, my goal was top 10, so I'm really happy," Perkins said.

Mooloolaba's Teisha Jenkins, who recently qualified for the IronWoman Series, won the under-19 women's race.



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