Nutri-Grain Series: We deliver the goods on Round Five
With the Nutri-Grain series now done and dusted with Lana Rogers and Kendrick Louis crowned champions, the Bulletin runs the rule over the athletes to deliver its surf life saving summer report card.
Male series winner: Kendrick Louis
Female series winner: Lana Rogers
Round one Coolangatta Gold winners: Lana Rogers and Matt Bevilacqua
Round two winners: Lana Rogers and Matt Poole
Round three winners: Lana Rogers and Luke Cuff
Bleeding profusely from his knee just 24 hours after checking out of hospital, Matt Poole proved in round four at Surfers Paradise why they call them ironmen.
The Kurrawa athlete's bravery to battle surgery and a golden staph infection was one of the defining moments of the season, even if he finished 16th and was forced back into the operating theatre within hours of racing.
It would also be remiss not to mention Lana Rogers' stirring Coolangatta Gold win where she managed to chase down Umina's Jemma Smith in the dying stages of the race and claim her maiden title.
Matt Poole bleeding from the knee during round four. Pic Mike Batterham
Aspiring ironwoman Greta Petersen being pulled from the water at Burleigh during the Coolangatta Gold swim leg reminded us all of the rigour our athletes undergo when they race.
Petersen was swimming just off Burleigh when she reported feeling unwell and was pulled from the water and taken to shore where she lost consciousness. Luckily, Petersen made a full recovery.
Spectators gather around as paramedics work on a woman who was pulled from the water during the Coolangatta Gold. Picture: Supplied
Two round wins, including his maiden title in the treacherous Coolangatta Gold, was enough to see Matt Bevilacqua finish second overall in the series.
Although he was self-admittedly inconsistent in between, the man from Tasmania had a memorable season and still came within five points of his second series title.
Matt Bevilacqua wins the long course. Picture: Tertius Pickard
Georgia Miller was the epitome of consistency in the summer after her maiden Nutri-Grain series crown. The 23-year-old won round four at Surfers Paradise and finished on the podium two other times in round three and five.
In the other two rounds, the Northcliffe athlete finished fourth, guaranteeing a top-five finish in every single round. Lana Rogers is the only other athlete to have achieved the same feat this summer.
Georgia Miller celebrates winning the Nutri-Grain IronWoman series on December 15, 2019 in Surfers Paradise, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)
After falling out of love with surf life saving, Jy Timperley's extended break from the sport last year paid dividends. The 20-year-old Currumbin Viking emerged as one of the big surprises of the series and was a mathematical chance to win the title heading into the final round following a season high finish of fourth in the Coolangatta Gold as well as sixth in round two and seventh in round four. He has proven he can go with the best.
Jy Timperley in action for Currumbin. Picture supplied.
Arguably the biggest story of the season came when surf life saving veteran and three time series winner Courtney Hancock decided to switch clubs from Northcliffe to Surfers Paradise midway through the Nutri-Grain series.
Hancock has competed under the maroon star since she was a teenager after moving to the Gold Coast from Coffs Harbour.
The 31-year-old expressed excitement about the opportunity to commence the twilight of her career in a fresh environment but the move attracted disappointment from Northcliffe who were forced to let go of one of their stars in December.
Ironwoman Courtney Hancock preparing for this weekend's Coolangatta Gold. Pics Adam Head