Wanda Surf Lifesaving Club have given a strong performance at the first major meet of the season with success at the Coolangatta Gold.
The grueling Gold Coast event takes months of preparation through the cold winter, with Wanda thrilled with their results.
Wanda sent one of their largest teams for several years north with a huge support crew and coach, former Gold competitor Nathan Smith.
Mitch Allum finished third in the open men’s race in good conditions, though a strong current and tricky shore break proved challenging for some.
Allum was three minutes behind fourth place entering the final run leg but put in a massive final effort to climb to third and finish one minute ahead of his nearest challenger.
Ali Day won his record sixth open men’s event.
Allum showed the hard work of his tough winter training schedule had paid off with a strong result in the race which included a 23-kilometre ski, 2.1km run, 3.5km swim, 6.1km board and final 7.1km run.
Wanda had three competitors, Keira Warn (second), Emily Eaves (third) and Kaimana Fittock (fifth), finish in the top five of the under-19s female short course race, a 21.5-km ski, swim, board and run.
Eaves had a great start to the ski leg where she took the lead and also had a strong swim leg. She eventually finished third overall in the open’s and under-19s races.
Warn took the lead in both the open’s and under-19s races with strong swim legs, only to lose the lead at the end of the swim as competitors caught waves from behind.
Wanda’s Fletcher Warn also finished second in the under-13s male youth race.
Northern Beaches ironwoman Georgia Miller won the open women’s race for the first time.