January 13, 2024

Fifth time’s the charm

Manly’s Hayden Cotter has won this year’s Powercor Lorne Pier to Pub, claiming the 1.2km event win in 12m20s, followed by Sam Sheppard (12m26s) and Jesse Coulson (12m29s) in a nail-biting sprint finish.

In a grand finish, returning champion, Lani Pallister of Main Beach won the women’s race in a time of 13m09s. Mackie Huner was second with a time of 14m03s with Dominique rounding out the top three with a time of 14m06s.

The sold-out event saw 5,000 swimmers take to Loutit Bay in ideal conditions that took participants from the Lorne Pier down to the Lorne Surf Life Saving Club.


“You can’t beat it really, the Pier to Pub is one of the biggest open-water swims in Australia. So to come out and make it five in a row, it’s definitely something I look forward to every year,” Cotter said after his fifth win.

“I was struggling with the pace the whole way and Noah Millard came close to me around the last can, I thought I was in trouble. I just tried to get out by myself on the southern side and luckily got a breaking wave in. It made a difference in the end.

“I’m from Queensland originally and you hear about the Pier to Pub all the time. I came down the first year and was competing against Mack Horton and Gregorio Paltrinieri. I won, and that was the highlight of my career so far. ”

Pallister, also celebrating her fifth win, said she had done a lot of long-distance racing in the back end of 2023 and early this year, and she had her eye on making the Australian team for the Paris Olympics.

“So now I’m quite confident in myself and my abilities.”

“Olympic qualifiers are in June. We all find out six weeks before the Paris Olympics. I’m ranked similarly to what I’ve been since 2022."

“I’m still second in the four and eight and then first in the 15. On paper, I would like to think it’s a possibility that I would make it to Paris but once again, Olympic trials are such a different event and the pressure on it is so different to anything you experience.”

While elite racers make up the Superfish category, participants in the wider event come from all over from established athletes and media personalities to politicians, including Ted Baillieu, father-daughter duo Tim and Sam Lane, Josh and Amie Frydenberg, Justin Hemmes and Alex Fasolo.

Yesterday (Friday, January 12), runners traversed the Lorne hinterland and coastal border in the Powercor Mountain to Surf.

Top prizes were taken out by Sebastian Asher and Sarah Klein in the men’s and women’s respectively.

The two events attract an estimated 45,000 visitors to Lorne.

For full results from this year’s Pier to Pub, head to multisportaustralia.com.au/races/pier-to-pub-2024

Read Surf Coast Times story here.

Image credit: 2024 Pier to Pub Superfish winners Lani Pallister (left) and Hayden Cotter. Photo: PETER MARSHALL

More stories

View more stories