Welborn and Verco claim inaugural Coolangatta Gold at Bate Bay Titles
Newport’s Lizzie Welborn and North Bondi’s Charlie Verco have taken out the inaugural open division of Coolangatta Gold at Bate Bay in the Sutherland Shire of New South Wales.
The 25km event attracted 315 competitors in both individual and team events across Open, Masters and Youth events.
Welborn was five minutes ahead of clubmate Emily Doyle with Wanda local Carla Papac finishing third while Verco finished just over a minute ahead of Jackson Borg (Newport) with Jay Furniss (Cronulla) finishing third.
Welborn, 21, was in the lead group of three with local Wanda duo Georgia Sinclair and Carla Papac after the opening leg of the 12.5km ski. Wellborn was second behind club-mate Emily Doyle after the 2.5km swim leg and then accelerated right from the start of the board leg and was never challenged for the rest of the race.
“It feels good, we all haven’t raced in so long so it’s cool to have a proper serious event to do and I was actually pretty nervous before doing it so I am super stoked to have taken it out,” said Wellborn.
“At the start I was just focused on wash riding and not using too much of my energy and then when I got onto the board that is when I really put my foot on the pedal and hoped that I would get away”.
North Bondi teenager Verco (19) was never outside the top three and in the lead group throughout the entire race. He was third after the 12.5km ski behind club-mate Noah Harvard (North Bondi) and Jackson Borg (Newport) and was third behind Borg and Jay Furniss (Cronulla) after the 2.5km swim. Verco was a close second after the 4.5km board behind Borg, before taking and holding the lead a quarter of the way through the final 5.5km run leg.
In his first year of open competition, Verco knew that he had to stick with his older and more experienced teammates and competitors.
“I am super happy,” said Verco. “With Aussies being cancelled it was almost straight back into it training for the Coolangatta Gold and once that was cancelled, I just kept on training all the way through for this event.
“I had a pretty clear plan coming into today, Jackson (Borg) and Jay (Furniss) are definitely faster swimmers and ski paddlers than me so I just had to make sure that I came out as close as I could to them,” he said. “Then I just sat on them in the board and was able to break away in the run.
The 25km saw competitors start at Wanda SLSC make their way to Hungry Point, Port Hacking in the 12.5km ski leg before returning to Wanda to complete the 2.5km Swim and 4.5km board legs within Bate Bay and finishing off with a 5.5km run from Wanda to North Cronulla and back.
For a full list of results please from the Coolangatta Gold at Bate Bay click here: https://www.multisportaustralia.com.au/races/coolangatta-gold-at-bate-bay-2020