Bonnie Hancock Spends a Weekend Sharing Her Secrets with Torquay Clubbies

Torquay Surf Life Saving Club was Bonnie Hancock at the clubhouse this past weekend. Sharing stories from her record setting circumnavigation of Australia on a surf ski, Bonnie also provided valuable insights into what it takes to prepare the mind and body to become a world record holder and perform at the very edge of human performance.

Presented by Torquay Surf Life Saving Club Platinum Sponsor SecMedic, Bonnie spent an evening with the Coaching Team at Torquay Surf Life Saving Club with a presentation and then guided conversations on team building, performance, planning and reframing of the mind.

“Having Bonnie present to the coaching team was such an amazing opportunity for The Club,“ says Torquay Surf Life Saving Club Captain, Grant Matthews. “Her journey not only leading up to her more than 12,000km paddle around Australia, but during and after was inspirational. There were so many lessons and nuggets of information, mixed in with both passion and a down-to-earth attitude that was the perfect fit for our coaches.”

Tim Altman, Competition Director at Torquay Surf Life Saving Club echoed Grant’s statement. “Bonnie’s presentation was right on the money for our coaching team. It reinforced to all the coaches that the direction that we’re taking this season is the right one for our athletes.” Himself a championship surf ski athlete and proponent of the virtues of surf sports, Tim went on to say “It goes to show that with the right mindset, support structure, training and dedication, surf sports athletes can achieve truly amazing feats – all the way up to and exceeding the limits of endurance.”

The next day Bonnie then provided a special training camp for all teen, youth and adult Torquay Surf Life Saving Club members. With an emphasis on athletic performance and setting a competitive mindset, her classroom session and activities was augmented with a surf clinic where she took the participants through various drills and activities drawing from her experience not only as a surf ski expert but Ironwoman.

The surf clinic participants spent more than an hour on the beach and in the swell at Torquay Surf Beach and had the opportunity to receive a download from Bonnie’s competitive mindset and technical skillset.

Grant Matthews summed up the training camp by adding, “While the intellectual property that exists across the Torquay Surf Life Saving club is amazing, having access to additional inputs from Guinness World Record holders and other experts, and then sharing that with our athletes is a real privilege. Seeing the looks on the faces of the participants and feeling the connection that Bonnie was able to form with the members was what made it so special.”



Some Details about Bonnie

Outline of Achievements:

-Fastest person to circumnavigate Australia by paddle  (12,700km in 254 days)

-Youngest person to circumnavigate Australia by paddle (32 years old)

-First Australian Woman to complete circumnavigation of mainland Australia by paddle

-Longest distance paddled in 24 hours open ocean by a female (235 kilometres)

-14 Australian Championship Gold Medals

-3rd Coolangatta Gold 2012

33-year-old Bonnie Hancock recently broke the Guinness World Record for fastest person to circumnavigate mainland Australia by paddle.

Growing up in the small NSW town of Sawtell, Bonnie was primarily a board paddler and swimmer and as a late bloomer on the ski, didn’t pick up a paddle until the age of 17.

After a move to the Gold Coast at 17, Bonnie managed to grab a spot in the Nutri-Grain Ironwoman Series and would complete 7 years on the professional circuit.

After a two-year layoff finishing her Bachelor of Nutrition and Dietetics Degree at Griffith University, Bonnie decided to focus on ski paddling, medalling at Queensland State and Australian Championships in her first year of doing so.

In 2020, Bonnie read a book about a previous circumnavigation of Australia by paddle. Two years later, she set off from Mermaid Beach on her surf ski and after 254 days, finished a clockwise loop around the country. Bonnie broke the previous World Record by over 2 months. She also holds the record for the furthest distance paddled in 24 hours (open ocean) by a female, completing 235 kms on her surf ski at Airlie Beach, just two weeks after returning from her paddle around Australia.