Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Hayley hits beach with a bang

Graham Callaghan

HAYLEY Bateup is back.

After three months self-imposed absence from the sport Bateup, 28, won four gold, a silver and a bronze medal representing her new club Kurrawa.

Her gold medal count included one for her pet ironwoman event -- her 120m win bringing a broad grin to her face.

The ironwomen struck Kurrawa at its toughest with white water at the turning buoys and dumping waves hitting the sandbar about 60m from the beach.

She powered through the initial ski leg, blitzing her opposition to finish 100m ahead of Alyce Bennett, of Burleigh Heads-Mowbray Park, and Northcliffe's Elizabeth Pluimers, and was then never really questioned.

Bateup drifted off track on her final run to the finish line to slap 'high fives' with her cheering supporters to beat Maroochydore's Allira Richardson with Kurrawa teammate Terri Sullivan in third place. She had earlier teamed with Sullivan to win silver in the open female double ski.

Bateup also won gold with Shannon Porshe in the mixed double ski and easily won the open women's board race before joining Sullivan and Brianna Newson to win the board relay.

She also won a bronze medal with the Kurrawa ski relay team.

Sullivan, who won a board and ski double in the second preliminary final of the Ocean Assault series, was well back after the ski leg but paddled into fourth after the board leg and then claimed the bronze medal after the swim.

Bateup had time off after having trouble with SLSA over personal sponsorship.

She missed the Kellogg's series and had commitments with Channel 7 for the Gladiator series which will be aired next month.

"It was good winning the individual board race but the ironwoman is always the one I want to win because it always such a tough race," said Bateup.

"I had a good start and I managed to hold everyone off and with surf like this you just never know what might happen so I was glad to win. Being away from the sport for a few months has really been good for me because I really enjoy racing again and having a bit of fun.

"My bad luck in the ski race I had to put behind me so I got away really quick in the ironwoman," she said.

Bateup said three months out of the water got her excited to return after some new training techniques freshened up her mind and body.

"During that race I knew I couldn't relax in any part of the race because I knew I had a good lead from the ski leg," she said.

"But with the surf like it was anything can happen and in that final swim leg I didn't catch a wave so I'm just glad no one caught me.

"Right at the very end of the swim I caught a little shore break runner and it felt good."

HAYLEY Bateup is back.  After three months self-imposed absence from the sport Bateup, 28, won four gold, a silver and a bronze medal representing her new club Kurrawa.

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