Favourites' semis bid postponed

TWO of the favourites for Sunday's open Ironman championship at the DHL 2011 Australian Surf Life Saving Championships will have to wait until tomorrow for their chance to qualify for the glamour event's semi-finals.

Four-time champion Ky Hurst and Coolangatta Gold king Caine Eckstein, both of the Kurrawa club, were on the line for the start of their quarter-final when officials decided to postpone the race because it was too close to the carnival's 4pm cut-off time.

Competitors in the only undecided quarter-final will now have to race tomorrow as the water events at the championships have a lay day. .

Carnival officials are now considering running both semi-finals on Sunday morning, with the final to be raced later in the day.

Other open Ironman favourites such as three-time winner Shannon Eckstein (Northcliffe), two-time champion Pierce Leonard (Northcliffe) and Tugun's Hugh Dougherty all made it safely through their quarter-finals.

Surf Life Saving Australia general manager surf sports David Thompson said clubs were advised in December and March that the competition time was 8am to 4pm and competition would cease at 4pm.

“This is being done for the welfare of competitors, officials and workforce, and safety is our absolute priority,” he said.

Eckstein, who cruised into fourth place in his quarter-final, looked in prime form, as did Leonard whose form during the championships so far has been faultless.



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