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Your guide to the Coolangatta Gold 2019

Your guide to the Coolangatta Gold 2019
on 10 September 2019 in Events & Entertainment

The Coolangatta Gold is renowned as the most gruelling endurance race in surf sport. From cinematic beginnings in 1984, the event, once it gained momentum, has grown from strength to strength, being held 16 times. Most Australians will know that this ultimate endurance race stemmed from a movie idea which would go on to become an Australian classic. Filmmakers looking to honour ironman Grant Kenny opted to hold a gruelling event rather than stage one. What was once a movie idea is now a sporting event staple as competitors from across Australia and the world try their hand at the 41.8km elite course.

Competing: how to enter?

Entries are now open for the Coolangatta Gold 2019. The event will take place over the weekend of October 12-13. Interested parties have until Thursday October 3 to submit their entry forms and medical forms. The event requires immense mental and physical strength to be able to conquer the multi-disciplinary course, so entrants should determine if they would like to enter as an individual or take part as a team. Potential entrants should also note that the short course will be held on Saturday October 12 while the long course will take place on Sunday October 13. There are also restrictions, so make sure you have a read of these before you enter.

Long course

The long course is designed for the endurance surf sport competitor who is up for the ultimate challenge. It’s a gruelling 41.8km that tests athletes to the absolute limit. You must be 19 years and over to compete and you should be prepared for a:23km ski
2.1km run
3.5km swim
6.1km board
7.1km run

Prize money is available to the first six Elite Males and Females over the line:1st place: $18,000
2nd place: $7,000
3rd place: $4,000
4th place: $3,000
5th place: $2,000
6th place: $1,000 

Short course

The short course is designed for the everyday endurance athlete that’s generally very fit. It’s for those who want maximum engagement with the fans and a great atmosphere that will help inspire. The course is 21 km of surf sports endurance action and again you must be 19 years and over to compete. Be prepared for a:
 10.5km ski
2km swim
3km board
5.5km run
There is no prize money for the short course, but there is the satisfaction of completing something that is undoubtedly tough.


The younger generation isn’t left out of the Coolangatta Gold with Sunday 13 October being all about the youth challenge. Open to under 11s, 12s, 13s, 14s, 15s and under 16s the course consists of a:300m soft sand run
400m swim
400m run
500m board
50m run
The race concludes at the elite finish arch where a crowd with be waiting to applaud. Note that all ages are taken from the day of the event and no competitors under the age of 10 years will be considered. 
You can download all of the course maps and find additional details for the event on the Surf Life Saving website to stay up to date.  

Getting the family involved

The Coolangatta Gold is a mass display of superhuman strength and stamina. For kids brought along by their parents, it’s a lesson that teaches them that they can do anything. Most people would curl in a ball at the mere thought of such a race but these iron men and women make the combination of surf skiing, running, swimming and paddleboarding look easy. 

The Coolangatta Gold is a family-friendly event that promises a whole heap of action. You can choose to follow the race along or you can perch up in a particular spot and enjoy the activities that are dotted along the course. You could also embrace the Coolangatta Gold spirit and hire bikes to ride along the promenade and around the town or you could enrol the kids in a surf lesson. 

Alternatively, you could grab lunch at the Coolangatta Hotel and be part of the fun festivities. The Cooly Hotel is open from 9am until late on a weekend and is proud of this incredible sporting event. There’s lots of fun to be had at the Cooly. Check out our What’s On page to learn more about what’s happening. Rest assured that there will be live music, the action on the big screens and great food on offer in Crave Restaurant. We recommend making a reservation, as weekends can get busy, especially during the Coolangatta Gold.

Why you should attend

The Coolangatta Gold has never been easier to be apart of… without actually having to compete. Convenient bus stop locations and parking lots mean that getting to the event is actually quite easy. For example, the bus stop at Golden Four Dr at North Kirra beach is a two minute walk at most until spectators can hit all the action. Alternatively two parking lots located at 34 and 60-68 Musgrave St mean that a ten minute walk is all that stands between spectators making a day of the Coolangatta Gold. Easy transport means that spectators can cheer competitors on at each stop and feel like they are apart of the action. 

The Coolangatta Gold is an iconic part of the Gold Coast’s and Australia’s sporting history. The more people who get involved the better, so if you haven’t checked it out before, make sure you do in 2019. Book your table for lunch at the Coolangatta Hotel, slip on some sunscreen and a hat, get your cheer on and come on down. The Coolangatta Gold is an event not to be missed.

Image credit: The Northern Daily Leader