SHE has spent the better part of the past six months concentrating on her kayaking ambitions, but talented teenager Alyssa Bull is clearly back in the swing of things for the surf lifesaving season.
The 17-year-old won the open women's Coolangatta Gold short-course race yesterday ahead of the fast-finishing Jess Suriano.
A three-time age group winner at Coolangatta, Bull led from the start over the 33.6km course.
It was an impressive display from the Alexandra Headland competitor, who experienced an unusual off-season that included an injury-affected World Canoe Sprint Championships campaign in Canada in August.
"A lot of my preparation in the off-season was focused on sprint kayaks," she said.
"We went really well in Canada (reaching the final of the K4 500) but I happened to dislocate my kneecap two nights before the world championships started.
"That meant when I came back I had some rehab to go through before getting back into the training slowly.
"But I'm doing pretty well at the moment. Today I was pretty happy with how it went, so hopefully no more worries in the future."
Bull will compete in this summer's Ironwoman Series, having enjoyed remarkable success in her maiden series last summer.
She won the final round at Noosa Heads in strong fashion to automatically qualify for the 2013-14 series.
HER board and ski coach is Shane Dalziel and Janelle Pallister, a 1988 Olympian, is her swim coach.
Bull, herself, is aiming to go to the Olympics.
"For kayaking, yes, that's a dream," she said.
"Naomi Flood (London Olympian and ironwoman) has been a great inspiration being able to do both sports, and hopefully I can too."
Newport ironman and former Mooloolaba competitor Kendrick Louis won the men's Coolangatta Gold short-course race.
The 23-year-old beat Southport's Pierce Leonard by more than three minutes. Alexandra Headland teenager Bradley Doughan was third.
MOOLOOLABA surf lifesaver Ali Day will attempt to defend his crown when the 41.5km Coolan-gatta Gold long-course race is contested this morning.
He is expected to receive stiff competition from the Gold Coast's Hugh Dough-erty and two-time runner-up Nathan Smith, from Cronulla.
Jordan Mercer is expected to lead the charge from the Sunshine Coast in the women's race, which will be over 41.5km for the first time.
The winners of the men's and women's events will each receive $25,000.
|Sunshine Coast Daily|