Congratulations to everyone who took part in the Coolangatta Gold at Bate Bay on Saturday 24 October 2020, hosted at Wanda SLSC.

THANK YOU to everyone who made the event possible – sponsors Shaw and Partners, Surf Life Saving Australia and Tourism and Events Queensland; host Wanda SLSC and the Bate Bay Clubs Elouera SLSC, North Cronulla SLSC, Cronulla SLSC; the organising support from Surf Life Saving NSW and Sutherland Shire Council; and to all the officials, working parties, water safety and first aid who generously gave their time.

Wanda SLSC Hail Inaugural Bate Bay Gold a Success

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SLSA Story

Wanda SLSC Director of Surf Sports Greg Pierce has praised the efforts of all involved in the inaugural Coolangatta Gold at Bate Bay event and declared the event held on Saturday, October 24, a resounding success.

The 25km individual and teams event across Masters, Open, U19, U17 and U15 categories saw 315 competitors start at Wanda SLSC with a 12.5km ski paddle to Hungry Point, Port Hacking before returning to Wanda to complete the 2.5km swim and 4.5km board legs within Bate Bay then finishing off with a 5.5km run from Wanda to Boat Harbour then to North Cronulla and back. The day also started with a 5km soft sand endurance.

“We probably didn’t really know what to expect when we first came up with the idea but we knew we had a good concept and with Nathan Smith designing the course, it was always going to be good and we couldn’t have asked for better conditions on the day,” said Pierce.

“The numbers were good, there was great energy and positivity down on the beach and the best part was simply the fact that we were able to race and have a Club carnival, the first one for the year. All the competitors were just so happy to be back racing.

“It was also great to be able to show that you can run a carnival in these COVID-19 conditions and hopefully it will encourage others to put on events for kids because we need them and the competitors love racing, it is a big part of why they join surf clubs.” Added Pierce.

Pierce acknowledge the joint efforts of Wanda SLSC, Sydney Branch, SLSNSW and SLSA in helping to run the carnival along with the support of the Sutherland Shire Council, Tourism & Events Queensland, Shaw and Partners and volunteers.

“It all grew from an idea and conversation, SLSNSW decided to support us and Sydney branch and the other Bate Bay Clubs joined in to help us run the event as did SLSA, so it was a great team effort,” added Pierce.

“Whilst it is still early days, we have lots of ideas running through our head about what we could do next as the feedback from the event is that people will absolutely come back.

“We think the venue is really good, particularly for spectators and the support we have from the Council, Brett Richardson (Senior Manager, Public Safety & Lifeguard Services) and the Shire Lifeguards in particular is fantastic,” added Pierce. “Not every Surf Club has a Council and Council Officer so supportive of surf sports and for this we are very fortunate and grateful.

Such was the success that Pierce and his team are already thinking about next year.

“We are already thinking about 2021, how we can build on it, improve and make it better. We also think that there is a definite need for it,” said Pierce.

“We think that this can really become a stepping stone to the Coolangatta Gold on the Gold Coast and I heard a number of people at the event say, ‘well now I can think about the 41km race’ and it might even encourage more people to do endurance racing.

“Who knows where it might all end up; it is only early days, but we are certainly very pleased with how the event ran and we have had nothing but positive feedback from all involved which is terrific”.

From a Wanda specific perspective Pierce said that most pleasing aspect was the level of participation.

“Wanda had close to 70 competitors in the event competing across all categories as both individuals and teams,” said Pierce. “Most of the athletes did what we would of expected them to do and some of the younger kids in particular did really well so I am really happy with the results overall but there is no doubt that the most pleasing aspect was just to see everyone racing.

“They were all just so happy to be out competing again and it was so great to see their enthusiasm and enjoyment,” added Pierce.

Branch Circular 23 Results here

Thank you Glenn Duffus Photography for the following great shots from the day.