The state’s top ironmen and women will go head to head at Broadbeach at the 2019 Queensland Surf Life Saving Championships from tomorrow.
More than 1,700 of the state’s fittest and fastest competitors, including over 1000 athletes from the Gold Coast, with battle the surf, sand, and each other in their quest for glory.
In the ironwoman, Northcliffe’s Courtney Hancock will be looking to go back-to-back after last year becoming just the second woman in history to win three or more titles in the prestigious event.
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She will face tough competition from club-mates Georgia Miller and Maddy Dunn, while Noosa’s Lana Rogers and Kurrawa’s Brielle Cooper will also be hot on her heels.
In the ironman, Shannon Eckstein will be lining up at his final Queensland Championships, after recently announcing his decision to hang up the competitive togs at the end of this season.
Standing in his way will be the likes of defending champion and six-time Coolangatta Gold winner Ali Day, along with former Nutri-Grain Series champions Matt Poole and Matt Bevilacqua.
In addition to the blue-ribbon iron races, Queensland’s top lifesavers will also battle it out in a variety of other events including surf swims, skis, board races, beach sprints, surf boats, and the iconic Taplin relay.
The Championships represent the culmination of Queensland’s surf sport season and, for many competitors, it will be one of their last opportunities to build momentum and fine tune preparations ahead of the Australian Championships at the same beach next month.
SLSQ Sports Manager Stuart Hogben expects some tough racing across the three days of action.
“The Queensland Championships attract the very best lifesavers from all corners of the state, and the level of competition just gets better and better each year,” he said.
“We’re lucky in the sense that Queensland is home to some of the fittest lifesavers in Australia and right across the world for that matter, so there’s no doubt the competition will be fierce and there’ll definitely be no holding back once that starter gun goes.
“The competitor’s list reads like a who’s who of surf lifesaving, and I’m sure we’ll be in for a cracking three days of racing.”
In addition to open events, the Championships will also feature a masters category for athletes aged over 30, right up through to 80-plus years.
The 2019 Queensland Surf Life Saving Championships will be on at Broadbeach SLSC from March 15 to 17. For more information, visit: lifesaving.com.au/events/queensland-senior-state-championships/