Noosa thrives on hard going at Gold Coast

WINNERS: Coach Darren Mercer  with   Texas Dixon, Aurelia Donger, Jayden Morrow and Jack Mohr.
WINNERS: Coach Darren Mercer with Texas Dixon, Aurelia Donger, Jayden Morrow and Jack Mohr. Contributed

NOOSA Heads SLSC's Tainui Kaihua has finished an incredible sixth in the open men's Coolangatta Gold short course event just two years since he was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.

Kaihua was one of the inspirational stories to emerge from the Noosa contingent of surf sports competitors to make their mark in the hotly contested endurance test.

He clocked in at 2:47.26 - an effort that is an absolute testament to his dedication and persistence to overcome adversity and enjoy his competitive lifesaving.

The short course racing took place on Saturday. It comprised a 10.5km ski leg, 2km swim leg, 3km board leg and 5.5km run with competitors having to punch into a stiff breeze on the way home. Noosa's Allison Peg took out the over-50 female division with a time of 3:06.30.

Noosa's under-19 mixed team of Texas Dixon, Aurelia Donger, Jayden Morrow and Jack Mohr also brought home gold with a time of 2:30.31.

Morrow had the fastest swim of the day from across the field and Dixon had the second fastest board paddle.

On Sunday, Noosa Heads' Lana Rogers contested the open female division. Rogers was up against three-time winner Courtney Hancock, the queen of long distance competitors in this format.

She was a consistent fourth in all the stages leading into the last 7.5km run, but was overtaken by Allie Britton from North Burleigh in the last 3km.

Rogers placed fifth in the elite class, 4min 28 seconds behind eventual winner Hancock. Rogers gained much experience and confidence from her first attempt at the Coolangatta Gold.

In the Maters 50+ event, John Lewis finished a creditable fourth in a hotly contested age group.

A great weekend for the Noosa Club.

Peter French

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