Courtney Hancock, left, and Liz Pluimers lead the field home in the board section at Surfers Paradise yesterday.
Courtney Hancock, left, and Liz Pluimers lead the field home in the board section at Surfers Paradise yesterday. Delly Carr

Hancock draws first blood

COURTNEY Hancock had a point to prove and did it in style.

The Gold Coast champ took the first step to defending her Ironwoman Series crown after taking out the first race at Surfers Paradise yesterday.

She edged out Northcliffe clubmate Liz Pluimers, who many claimed was the rightful 2010-11 champion.

Many questioned how Hancock could take out last year's pointscore despite not winning a single round while Pluimers, who won four of the five rounds, was cruelled by one bad result.

As a result of the incident, the scoring system for this year's series was overhauled and the number of points awarded for a win was increased.

Hancock, the reigning Ironwoman Series, Australian Ironwoman and Coolangatta Gold champion, said last year's result was not playing on her mind. But she was determined to make as strong a start to the series as possible.

"You've really got to stay right up the front and be so consistent. You can't have a fault this year, absolutely not," she said.

Kristyl Smith finished third, Brodie Moir fourth and Hayley Bateup one place back for an all-Gold Coast top five.

Rebecca Creedy, from Met Caloundra, was the best of the Sunshine Coast contingent. She said while she was happy with the result, she was disappointed at being overtaken by Moir and Bateup on the final run.

"It's a little disappointing for the endurance, it's always my fear that people will run past me on that last leg," Creedy said.

"I lost two places to Brodie and Hayley, so that's a let-down, but they're strong runners and running is my weakest leg. This is probably the event I thought I'd go worst in. So a sixth (isn't too bad)."



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