SURF LIFESAVING: Alexandra Headland under-19 competitor Campbell Guthrie said he has dreamt of winning the Coolangatta Gold for much of his life, and today he achieved it.
Guthrie finished first across the line in what is known as one of the most gruelling surf sports events in the under-19 short course race on the Gold Coast.
Guthrie finished in a time of 3hr 16min 11.2sec, just under a minute ahead of North Burleigh's Grant Harris and Noosa's Bailey Williams.
"It was unbelievable, I still can't believe I won and finished,” he said.
"My coach and family told me to believe in myself. Not many people picked me to win but I had to believe I could get it done.”
Coach Jack Hansen said Campbell was a great kid from a great family, and he was super proud of the way he held himself in today's race.
"His ski leg was fantastic and he got right up the front,” Hansen said.
"He jumped off in the top two or three and then it was his swim leg that probably surprised me. But he pushed along and came out in front with Bailey (Williams) and Campbell went on with it from there.
"When he was challenged in the board and final run, he just found a little more.”
Guthrie, who teamed up with his Alexandra Headland teammates to win the under-17 taplin relay at The Aussies in April, was almost speechless after the race.
"It was bloody hard, but I got through,” he said.
"I've put in 18 weeks of hard work and I've spent every waking moment thinking about this race.”
Fellow Alexandra Headland competitors Alex Wright and Brad Doughan will tomorrow compete in the open long course edition.