Swimmers have swell time
FORECAST big swell never eventuated and ocean swimmers fought out a stunning 5km race last month, with Nick Sloman taking overall honours at the Mooloolaba Beach Festival.
After rounding the final buoy together, Sloman (50:04.7) powered away from Hayden Cotter with 100m to swim, eventually standing first and winning the sprint to the line by three seconds.
In the women’s event, Sunshine Coast swimming sensation Chelsea Gubecka got the win in another close finish.
Despite stumbling after standing in the shallows, Gubecka (53:10.5) proved too good by six seconds in front of fellow Coast product Kareena Lee.
Organisers were forced to change the course due to the building swell. The 5km athletes undertook laps of the Mooloolaba Bay.
The 2.5km swim from Alexandra Headland to Mooloolaba was switched to start and finish from the Mooloolaba Spit.
Ebony Blackstone won the women’s event (30:31.8), while there was a stunning finish in the men’s event with Liam Ryan (28:41.0) edging David McConnell (28:42.5), Thomas Bergin (28:42.6) and Blair Day (28:45.0) in a sprint for the line.
On the Sunday, the swell generated by ex-Tropical Cyclone Gita caused several course changes, including the prestigious Mooloolaba Mile.
For the women, a cracking race saw a dead heat between Gubecka and Lee (18:43.5). Mikayla Messer completed the podium (18:56.4).
There was a clear winner for the men, with Hayden Cotter (17:11.3) victorious from Michael Sheil (18:39.5) and Liam Ryan (18:49.9).
New cycling event
Noosa Classic is the latest gran fondo cycling event on the calendar. Scheduled for August 26 this year, it will encompass a 160km ($180 pre early bird), 120km ($145 pre early bird) and a 45km ($75 adult $35 children pre early bird) social option. The Noosa Classic is the third in a successful series of cycling classics events hosted by Bicycling Australia, following South Australia’s Clare Classic (April 8) and the multiple award winning Bowral Classic in the NSW Southern Highlands on October 21.
Robbie Andrews (6:19:31, pictured left) and Tony Bryan (6:49:32) finished the Otway Odyssey MTB Marathon last month. The 100km Otway Odyssey is regarded as one of the toughest MTB marathons in Australia - including a number of lung busting hills as you climb to the top of the Otway Ranges. Both will race the Mooloolaba Triathlon on Sunday.
A contingent of Sunshine Coast Tri Academy athletes raced at the Australian Junior Champs in Perth over the weekend. Romy Wolstencroft was the best placed, gaining a silver in a nail-biting sprint finish. Jake Hynes was 12th, as was Ryan Marsh.
Gold Coast duathlon
Poor water quality saw the Luke Harrop Memorial Triathlon become a duathlon (2.5km run, 20km ride, 5km run). Here were some of the Coast's leading performers: Romy Wolstencroft 59:24 first 16-19 female (7:59, 31:38, 17:19). Alice Latham 1:03:41 second 30-34 female (9:07, 32:11, 20:10). Lucy Bowden 1:01:50 fourth 25-29 female (8:45, 31:35, 19:10). Matthew Wolstencroft 57:17 second 45-49 men (8:34, 29:02, 17:28). Michael Hooper 57:34 fourth 20-24 men (8:02, 29:19, 17:51). Nathan Fitzakerley 57:36 third 40-44 men (07:57, 29:30, 18:09). Ryan Devlin 57:53 fifth 25-29 men (7:35, 31:32, 16:47). Jordan Gover 58:30 fourth 45-49 men (8:18, 29:46, 18:24). Rowland Cook 1:10:26 third 65-69 men (10:15, 34:36, 22:57).
SAND SPEED: Chelsea Gubecka (left) stumbles after standing in the shallows, but still managed to get the win six seconds in front of Kareena Lee.
Duane Cannell won the 45-49 age division in both the 5km and the Mooloolaba Mile as part of the Mooloolaba Beach Festival.
Mecca cover star from our last edition, Miles Tollan, finished the 2.5km race in 39:55.1. Troy Thompson (left), the subject of our Q&A last edition, finished the 2.5km in 35:36. He followed that with 24:16.3 in the mile.