Shaw and Partners Brand Ambassador Ali Day wins Shaw and Partners Coolangatta Gold News16 Oct 2023

History continues to be broken at the Coolangatta Gold as arguably the greatest competitor claimed another title.

 

Ali Day was first over the line on Sunday’s long course event, to claim his ninth Coolangatta Gold in just his ninth attempt.

 

In front of a packed crowd as he crossed the finish line, Day let out an almighty cheer when grabbing the banner to claim victory.

 

Day said this was one of the toughest events he had competed in.

 

They are always hard, they seem to get harder and harder every year and someone like Bevi (Matt Bevilacqua) pushed me the whole way today, Day said.

 

I think it was one of the hottest runs we have ever done.

 

I tried today to break it up into five individual races and soon as I got off the ski I tried to reset, tried to make it a swim race, a run race and a board race.

 

I have got great coaches, great mentors, great support with my family here and I was able to draw a fair bit of inspiration when Bevi got away from me.

 

I take my hat off the Bevi, to Kendrick (Louis), to Corey (Taylor) and all the guys who put their hands up to do the race, they make it what it is and they make me better.

 

Matt Bevilacqua led the ski and first leg of the run before Day over took in the swim to give himself a five-minute lead.

 

Bevilacqua closed the gap in the final run, closing two minutes off the clock but Day finished the race with a time of 4:03:48, two minutes and 49 seconds ahead of second placed Bevilacqua.

 

Rosco Day was at the finish line to watch his son cross it for the ninth time and was full of praise for the hard work Ali has put in.

 

It is quite amazing, he joined the surf club many years ago and he had one aim then and that was to win the Coolangatta Gold and become an Ironman professional, Rosco said.

 

Year by year he continued to get stronger, on the boards, running, ski and swimming, he just did what he could to get stronger and that is credit to him and his coaches as well.

 

I am very proud of him and it is an honour to hear how highly people speak of him.

 

It would be hard for him to retire, he has a genuine love for surf lifesaving and the people involved in the sport as well.

 

In the women’s event, Lana Rogers claimed her second Coolangatta Gold, finishing with a time of 4:29:45, just one minute and 24 seconds ahead of second place.

 

Rogers, Courtney Hancock and Georgia Miller were all fighting for first place with Miller looking to claim the event before she stopped with about 4km to run.

 

Caught up in the emotion of the race, Rogers showed more concern for her fellow athlete than winning the trophy.

 

I am just really concerned about her, I want to make sure she is OK because you don’t like seeing anyone go through that, Rogers said.

 

You know we have been rivals for about 20 years and it has been a great competition with her.

We had the 20-week training camp together to get up for this race.

 

She has put in so much and it is really sad to see her go out like that.

 

It hasn’t really sunk in yet but I know for sure I will be celebrating this one with my teammate (Georgia Miller).

 

She set the pace with that run, she created that gap between us and it's the crazy thing about this sport that these things happen.

 

I am writing history for myself, this one is really special, it was the hardest one to get.

 

Rogers claims her second Coolangatta Gold after winning the event in 2019.

 

In a very tough and hot race for all athletes on Sunday’s event, Rogers said there were some things you just could not prepare for.

 

I knew it was going to be very hot, when we got out into the ocean and the board leg, that was when it really sunk in that it was very hot, Rogers said.

 

I knew I just had to keep myself hydrated, get fresh water on me as best I can throughout those quick transitions.

 

We did 20 weeks of training at BMD Northcliffe with Amy Flood, she took us through the hurt locker for those weeks.

 

I put my big girl pants on with now living out of home and moving down here from the Sunshine Coast.

 

I love ‘Floody’ so much, she has taught me so much in just a short amount of time.

 

It is really special to be able to share this with Georgia Miller, Floody and the rest of my team.

 

Article source: Gold Coast Bulletin, 16 October 2023

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