Jemma Smith comes second in Coolangatta Gold
Umina surf athlete Jemma Smith has come second in her first Coolangatta Gold race.
Smith went into the competition after having been crowned the Under-23 Female Ocean Kayak World Champion as well as NSW Ironwoman Champion for the year.
Her Coolangatta Gold course comprised a 23km ski paddle from Coolangatta to Broadbeach, a 2.1km run to Burleigh followed by a 3.5km swim at Burleigh, a 6.1km board paddle to Currumbin, ending with a 7.1km run.
"I'd never done this race before, so I didn't know what to expect," Jemma said.
"It was a grind, but I absolutely love tough racing like that.
"It makes it really interesting."
Jemma Smith led the pack from the start.
"I knew with the ski leg first I had to get out there early and then fortunately in the swim leg I was able to hold the lead which was really nice.
"The board leg was then about conserving some energy for the run," she said.
It was a tight finish with Queensland's Lana Rogers who took the lead in the run but Jemma stayed just strides behind.
After four hours, the girls crossed the line just seconds apart
Rogers finishing in first place with a time of 4:27.51 and Smith 4:23.54.
Other Umina Surf Life Saving Club members also had some excellent results in the short course, the best being Jenni Darwin who took out the gold in the Female 35-49 division with a time of 3:12.19.
Michael Magurren was Umina's next best result with a fourth place finish in the Male 35-49 with a time of 2:36.19.
The club's Poppi Lever and Cashar Darwin also competed in the Youth Challenge.
Media release, 13 Oct 2019
Donna Wishart, SLS NSW
Social media, 13 Oct 2019
Stephen Scahill, Umina SLSC