Jackson Borg and Lizzie Welborn of Newport SLSC have taken out the Sutherland Shire’s answer to the Coolangatta Gold, the Bate Bay Classic, at Wanda Beach on Saturday.

In the second year of the event Borg and Welborn beat off 200 competitors to take out the elite men’s and women’s categories in the 20 kilometre ski, swim, board and running event.

Competitors from NSW were unable to enter Queensland to contest the Coolangatta Gold last weekend.

Welborn said the Bate Bay event was the next best thing.

Lizzie Welborn of Newport SLSC takes on the board leg of the 20km Bate Bay Gold. Pic: Surf Life Saving New South Wales

“That was a really hard race and I knew it would be tricky with Jemma [Smith also of Newport] leading it off in the ski,” Welborn, who also won the elite female event in 2020, said.

“I’m just grateful to be back racing after winter and a long, hard lockdown. We’re all so passionate about the sport so it was cool to realise that nothing would stop us, not even lockdown.

“We made sure we jumped in the ocean pools, or trained by ourselves at the beach. We did a lot of work over winter that was endurance stuff so that set us up.”

Jackson Borg of Newport SLSC powering through the swell at the Bate Bay Gold. Pic: Surf Life Saving New South Wales

Borg agreed that staying motivated during lockdown was made easier by staying connected and encouraging team-mates to train when and where they could.

“It’s good to get some racing done, we’ve got a good squad at Newport and it’s great to be back racing,” Borg said.

“During lockdown we all banded together, although we couldn’t train together as a group, we were still all talking to each other and training in pairs.”

The top five winners in each of the elite categories shared in a prize pool of almost $20,000.

Meanwhile, North Curl Curl SLSC’s Olivia Clues won the U/15 individual female race while the club also took out both the U/15 male and female teams events.

All the results here.