WHILE Liz Pluimers hopes of a maiden series win were doused by wild swell at Portsea, beautician Courtney Hancock tightened her grip on a second professional ironwoman title with victory today at the famous Victorian surf spot.
Pluimers was the major casualty of a multiple ski pile-up involving a rivals handler in a messy shore break in round two of the six-leg series.
While Hancock, also knocked off her ski in the mayhem, was able to jump back aboard her craft to secure round two honours, last year’s runner-up went from first to dead last.
It was a result which has put Pluimers back in third place in the series, a massive 18 points behind overall leader and her training partner Hancock.
“Portsea just doesn’ like me,” said an upset Pluimers.
Kristyl Smith, now second overall in the series, was furious the handler, waiting for his competitor to start the ski leg, had been in the way of the leaders as they started the ski leg.
As he and the ski he was holding was washed backwards into the leaders, Pluimers was unable to regroup or regain the time lost in the accident.
“It absolutely shouldn’t happen,” Smith said.
“It is ironman etiquette not to get in the way (of leaders).”
Hancock, who won the opening round of the series at Surfers Paradise in December, now holds a 10-point lead over Smith going into the third leg of the series at Newcastle on January 22.
“It’s great to get the second win but this series is far from over,” Hancock said.
“As we saw today, anything can happen.”