Newspaper article Coffs Coast Advocate (Coffs Harbour, Australia)

Big Waves Boost; Courtney's Good News as She Chases a Series Win

Newspaper article Coffs Coast Advocate (Coffs Harbour, Australia)

Big Waves Boost; Courtney's Good News as She Chases a Series Win

Article excerpt

SURF lifesaving starlet Courtney Hancock has received a timely boost in her bid to claim a maiden Ironwoman Series race victory in round three at Coolum on the Sunshine Coast tomorrow after she was named as a replacement selection on the recently announced Australian Surf Life Saving team.

Hancock was left shattered after being left out of the original national team for next year's International Surf Rescue Challenge in New Zealand, saying she felt sick in the stomach when she was told of her omission the day before the series' most recent round at Bondi.

The 22-year-old masked her disappointment well, grabbing a second consecutive series third place to lock down second spot overall, four points adrift of series leader Liz Pluimers and a point ahead of reigning champion Alicia Marriott.

But things are already looking up for the sport's glamour girl, with this week's selection reprieve after one of the team's original members withdrew, and with the next couple of rounds at Coolum and Portsea, havens for big waves, conditions that suit Hancock down to the ground.

"I feel very honoured to be racing in the green and gold again but I was very, very disappointed about not being originally selected in the team to go to New Zealand," Hancock said.

"I know the selectors have a very hard job and there is always going to be athletes who think they should be in a team and are upset.

"From my point of view I regard myself as a surf specialist, so I specifically set myself the goal this season of making the surf-based team to New Zealand.

"I am really disappointed in myself that I did not do enough to justify my selection.

"The team was announced the day before the Bondi round and when someone told me that I had missed out I felt sick in my tummy. The hardest thing was then putting my disappointment to the back of my mind so I could focus on my race the next day. …

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