It’s amazing what a little bit of love can do.
Northcliffe’s Courtney Hancock yesterday produced the board paddle of her life to clinch a second Australian ironwoman title at a packed North Kirra.
As she crossed the line ahead of defending champion Rebecca Creedy and clubmate Harriett Brown, Hancock was embraced by partner Damien Tutt before the effects of a sprint race took their toll.
Surf’s glamour girl revealed her relationship with Tutt had been the catalyst behind her outstanding season after she claimed a second ironwoman series title earlier this year.
“To go a bit deep, I’ve fallen in love in the last six months,” Hancock said.
“He’s an amazing person. He’s absolutely beautiful.
“He’s my best friend. He knows how much work I put into it.
“He squeezed me so hard I couldn’t breathe. That’s what probably made me sick.”
It came down to one moment of brilliance from Hancock to clinch her second crown in three years.
With Creedy and Brown on her tail, Hancock produced a five-second burst of intense paddling on the board leg to get down a small wave and clinch the victory.
“That last paddle coming down the wave definitely came from the heart,” Hancock said.
“I can’t say at a usual training session I’d get down that wave. It showed how much I really wanted it.
“When I got down, then I knew I had it.”
When Hancock last won the title in 2011 she also claimed the Ironwoman Series, proving when she’s in top form, she’s hard to beat.
But yesterday’s triumph nearly didn’t happen after a lacklustre semi-final and relatively quiet week.
“I felt shocking in the semi-final yesterday morning and I was thinking ‘Oh my god how am I going to win this?’ ” Hancock said.
“I woke up this morning and I knew I had a special race inside of me. There it was.
“I’m absolutely ecstatic.”
Hancock, Creedy and Brown bolted away from the pack in the opening swim and stayed together for the entire race before Hancock broke away in the final seconds.
Source: Gold Coast Bulletin