Maroochydore’s rising surf swim star Hayden Cotter is one win away from making history at the Australian Surf Lifesaving Championships at Scarborough Beach in Perth.
Cotter and Tiarnee Massie have spearheaded a golden 48 hour winning streak for the Black Swans with three gold medals each as Maroochydore powered to an unprecedented seven gold medals.
In a day when the swim stars were on show, Northcliffe’s Commonwealth Games silver medallist Laura Taylor won her third gold – adding the Under 19 surf race to her Open and Under 19 surf teams gold.
While team mate Bailey Armstrong did like wise adding the Under 19 surf race to his part in the Northcliffe gold medal medal-winning open and under 19 surf teams.
Armstrong and Cotter will now line up in Saturday’s open surf race for what could be clash of the ages.
Having already won the Under 17 surf race, 2km Ocean Swim and surf teams events, Cotter has his eyes on winning the open surf race after finishing third in his semi-final today.
Armstrong would join the likes of Olympian Max Metzker and Daniel McLellan as two who had won the Junior/Open surf race double.
No under-17 competitor has ever won the open title in the 103-year history of the Aussies, and despite his laid-back nature Cotter is aware that winning the open event would be a unique achievement.
“I’m just having a crack at it and I’ll see how it goes. I’d like to win it but whatever happens, happens,” he said.
“I’ve been swimming really well this year so when I came over here I thought I’d do 17s and opens.
“Swimming really well” is something of an understatement.
In January, Cotter placed second and was the best Australian performer in the 5km time trial at the Australian open water championship. He also won the Pier to Pub swim at Lorne in Victoria, beating two Olympic gold medallists, 400m champion Mack Horton and 1500 winner Gregorio Paltrinieri.
Cotter is part of a “teen machine” from Maroochydore that has scooped all before them over the past two days – winning seven gold medals.
In a memorable 24 hours:
Cotter combined with Adam Palmer, Ruben Zikarsky and Ethan Irvine to win the under 17 surf teams after the club’s shock victory to master the thumping Scarborough Beach shore dump to take the gold in the under 17 board relay with Palmer and Zikarsky combining with Kieran Webb.
Then Tiarnee Massie added gold medal number three when she showed all the skills of a seasoned Ironwoman to master a dumping wave to take out the under 17 surf race after figuring yesterday in Maroochydore’s gold medal-winning surf teams with Summer Short, Sarah McGrath and Phoebe Wills-Grace while Tiarnee combined with cousin Jenaya Massie and Alicia Fay to win the under 17 surf teams.
Maroochydore claimed the surf teams, ahead of North Bondi and fellow Sunshine Coast club, Sunshine Beach and the ski relay ahead of Newport and Northcliffe.