Wauchope-Bonny Hills Surf Life Saving Club's success at the Coolangatta Gold has continued

WAUCHOPE Bonny-Hills Surf Club president Peter Smith knew the greatest challenge was to back up last year’s success at the Coolangatta Gold.

He shouldn’t have worried as the club not only replicated its performance from 12 months ago, but improved on it.

Overall, they claimed four gold medals, one silver and one bronze at last weekend’s event.

Remarkably, the shoe was on the other foot for the master’s women’s team who overtook the leaders with two kilometres to go in the final leg.

They eventually claimed the gold medal.

“It was a little bit of deja vu in our favour,” Smith said.

His comments were in reference to the women’s team being caught in the final leg at last year’s event.

“There were a few unexpected results and it was a great boost and a real tribute to what we’ve done lately,” he said.

“We did a bit of targeted recruitment for the event and it worked for us.”

The team of Elaine Walker (ski), Carolyn Turnham (swim), Briohny Spencer (board) and Larni Whiteley (run) performed sensationally in a thrilling race where the lead changed several times.

There were a few unexpected results and it was a great boost and a real tribute to what we’ve done lately.

Wauchope-Bonny Hills Surf Lifesaving Club president Peter Smith

The local girls ultimately prevailed to the raucous applause of the 60 supporters in the grandstand.

Saturday’s short course event involved a ski leg of 10-kilometres, a board leg of three-kilometres, surf swim of 2.5km and a final run leg of 5.5km.

The short course racing also brought silver and bronze success for the club with the male masters team of Trent Seale, Paul Kuhnell, Jeremy Bate and Dave Gilmour taking second place after leading the event on a couple of occasions.

To top the day off nicely, the male under-19 relay team of Will Jones, Hugh Stewart, Kai Eichmann and Tom Lewis took third place in a really strong field.

It took the might of Queensland super clubs Alexandra Headland and Maroochydore to finish in front of the local lads.

“We had high hopes for our under-19 team and for them to finish third was a great effort,” Smith said.

Sunday dawned with a magnificent Gold Coast day, and anticipation was high amongst the Bonny’s crew for the classic Coolangatta Gold long course which sees the race paddle, swim and run all the way from Coolangatta to Surfers Paradise and back again.

The teams prepared for what was in front of them – a 23-kilometre surf ski, 3.5-kilometre swim, 6.5-kilometre board paddle and a 7.1-kilometre soft sand run back to the finish line.

To win four gold medals, a silver and a bronze is absolutely phenomenal and a tribute to our club coaches, management and recruitment.

Peter Smith

Wauchope Bonny Hills had three teams entered for the gruelling long course and came away with a perfect scorecard – three gold medals no less.

First to have the locals going bananas at the finish line were the mixed masters 140 years team of Rob Pommie, Carolyn Turnham, Jermy Bate and Dave Gilmour.

This result giving super swimmer Carolyn her second gold medal of the weekend.

Next to cross the finish line was our mighty male 190+ years team of Trent Seale, Chris Sands, Paul Kuhnell and Martin Brazel.

By this stage the Bonny’s crew were dancing in the grandstand as spotters on the course reported that our final runner, Larni Whiteley was catching the leading team as they approached Kirra with a couple of kilometers to go.

The cake was iced and the team dined out on the success as our female 190+ years team of Elaine Walker, Raquel Seale, Briohny Spencer and Larni Whiteley made it a perfect three from three day.

“To win four gold medals, a silver and a bronze is absolutely phenomenal and a tribute to our club coaches, management and recruitment,” Smith said.