HEALTHY HAYLEY HAPPY WITH HER FORM
March 31, 2012: Hayley Bateup looked to be coasting as she ran to the finish line to comfortably win the 2012 Australian Surf Life Saving Championships' first open ironwoman semi-final in half-metre
Bateup, who led throughout, beat home Mooloolaba's Kelly-Ann Perkins and Rebecca Creedy, of Met Caloundra to seal her place in tomorrow's final, which she knows will be her toughest race this season.
The Northcliffe trio of Kristyl Smith, Liz Pluimers and defending champion Courtney Hancock filled the
"I felt really comfortable throughout the entire race and my shoulder, which troubled me right throughout
"My shoulder is strong again and I have no weak leg and I love this (discipline) order."
Open ironwoman finalists: Hayley Bateup (Kurrawa), Kelly-Ann Perkins (Mooloolaba), Rebecca Creedy (Met Caloundra), Amy Nurthen (Terrigal), Harriet Brown (Northcliffe), Hannah Minogue (Bulli), Allira Richardson (Mooloolaba), Nicole Chapman (Mooloolaba), Kristyl Smith (Northcliffe), Liz Pluimers (Northcliffe), Courtney Hancock (Northcliffe), Devon Halligan (Manly), Candice Falzon (Manly), Brodie Moir (North Burleigh), Alyce Bennett (North Burleigh), Jo Baxter (Terrigal).
The leading open ironman contenders are all hoping for a little more swell after making it through their first round heats this morning.
At age 43 and only a few weeks into his comeback, Trevor Hendy probably found the conditions as difficult as anyone as he placed sixth in his heat.
"The swim in particular was really hard and I'd have loved to have been able catch a wave and get a rest but we had to work hard all the way around," the six-time Australian champion said.
Race favourites such as defending champion Shannon Eckstein, four-time winner Ky Hurst and Kellogg's Nutri-Grain series winner Caine Eckstein were untroubled in the calm conditions.
Ironman quarter finals will be raced later today.
City of Perth supermum Alison O'Toole extended her extraordinary record in the open women's 2km run, winning the tough soft sand race for the eighth consecutive time.
In fact, the 36-year-old has won the race on every occasion it has been held since its debut in at the Aussies in 2005.
O'Toole said she only decided to contest the race again about four weeks ago but the slightly built athlete was
Tugun's Stephen Madden won his third consecutive open men's 2km run.
Tugun also won gold in the lifesaver relay, which combines boat crew, ski and board paddlers, a swimmer and a runner in each team.
After a strong row by the boaties, the Gold Coast club took a good lead through Sam Hamilton in the board paddle and Hugh Dougherty in the swim before Olympic gold medallist Ken Wallace paddled them safely to the beach and sprinter Elizabeth Forsyth raced over the finish line.
The Aussies continue at North Kirra today and tomorrow.
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