The 2019/2020 summer of surf sports action will kick off this weekend with the Coolangatta Gold and we will get to see who has been putting in the work over winter ready to dominate the summer.
A race that needs no introduction, Summer of Surf brings you our 2019 Coolangatta Gold race predictions below as we close in on this historic event.
2019 will see the most open field in the history of the race with it’s inclusion into the Nutri-Grain Ironman Series. This will see many of the sports top Ironmen contesting the grueling 42km race who would usually sit this one out. Adding to the drama, Ali Day & Caine Eckstein who have won eleven Coolangatta Gold crowns between them will both not be competing; marking the first race in over a decade where either party is not competing and opening the door for the contenders. With the absence of Day & Eckstein, we are guaranteed to have a new Coolangatta Gold Champion for 2019.
The One to Beat – Matt Bevilaqua
Bevy boasts one of the best long distance racing records in the field making him our one to beat. We have seen him dominate the 4 hour plus Molokai to Oahu Paddleboard race in recent years and he has claimed a 2nd place behind Ali Day in the 2016 Coolangatta Gold in his only attempt. We think his past experience in the Gold combined with his incredible endurance and recent form will make him the man to beat in this years Gold.
The Veterans – Matt Poole & Kendrick Louis
There are many tactics in a 4 hour race and even more decisions to be made. With no weaknesses, we can expect both these boys to be well positioned in every leg to launch an assault on the younger rivals in the field. For many years we have seen Ali & Caine make their moves and dominate the field in the swim, a part of the race which both Kendrick & Pooley could make their mark. Don’t be surprised to see both these boys standing on the podium at days end.
The Smokey – Jackson Borg
This may be a surprise name for some people but anybody who has been paying attention the last couple of years has seen a young man go from strength to strength since coming runner up to Ali Day in the World Titles Ironman. Borgy is no stranger to the event and one of the fittest guys in the field. Borgy boasts a massive swim leg and will be motoring home in the run. If Jackson is able to position himself out of the 24km ski leg he is a very genuine chance of taking home the $20000 at the end of the day.
Other names to watch: Australian Iron man champion Max Brooks has no weaknesses and will look to continue his winning momentum while Cory Taylor has shown us his incredible endurance in recent performances not to mention his podium in the 2017 Coolangatta Gold. Surfers Paradise will be well represented with last years runner up Max Beattie hoping to kickstart his summer off well while Nathan Gray & TJ Hendy are both showing good form and are eager for strong performances to make amends on last year where they both had to withdraw from illness.
The ladies field is a very different story where we will see two Coolangatta Gold Champions put their foot on the line against each other in what is shaping up to be an epic Courtney Hancock vs Georgia Miller battle.
We saw Georgia Miller dominate a small but very competitive field by 30+ minutes last year before going on to win the Tripple crown in a perfect season, winning the Cooly Gold, Nutri Grain Series & Australian Ironwomen Title cementing her dominance at the top of the sport. An interesting point up for discussion is Miller has only just returned home from racing in South Africa so we will see Sunday whether this has impacted on her preparations.
Fellow training partner and three time winner Courtney Hancock will be hunting her fourth title and may have the mental edge over her clubmate. Courtney Hancock has previously defeated Georgia Miller and already has 3 Coolangatta Gold Titles to her name. A race where previous experience is so important and Hancock having a very successful off season will see her as our race favorite.
The Ultimate Competitor – Lana Rogers
Looking outside the two obvious favorites in the race we head north to Noosa. Lana boasts not only multiple Nutri-Grain Ironwoman race wins but an Australian Ironwomen Title, proving she has the talent and ability to win on the biggest of stages. As Lana has continued her rise to the top, can it be third times a charm as Lana looks to topple the duo from Northcliffe and kickstart the summer by winning the Coolangatta Gold.
Ones to watch: Keep your eyes peeled for the Girls of Northcliffe (GON) with the likes of Danielle Mckenzie, Maddy Dunn, Hannah Scully and Olivia Corin who are all incredible athletes capable of claiming the crown.
The Coolangatta Gold kicks off this Sunday with a 7:30am start for the elite men and 7:40 for the elite women. For further race information head to https://sls.com.au/coolangattagold/ and stay tuned to the Summer of Surf socials as we bring you race day highlights.