Last weekend Newport Beach played host to the best Ironmen and Ironwomen in the World. The small northern beaches club attracted all the big names from around Australia, with all the superstars of the sport flooding into Newport for Round 2 of the Summer of Surf.
The men’s Nutri-Grain Ironman final was a “who’s who” of Ironman racing. There were local hopes such as Max Brooks, Ironman legends like G.O.A.T (greatest of all time) Shannon Eckstein and even some International flavour with Kiwi sensation Cory Taylor all down at Newport Beach in their attempt to notch-up their first big win of the season. However, the day belonged to big Matt Poole. After seeing his club-mate Matt Bevilacqua take out Round 1, the inspired 27-year-old Poole spent the majority of the race in front. In the dying stages Poole was joined on a wave with 5 other Ironmen only meters away from shore. Poole showed his class and experience by dismounting flawlessly off his surf ski and then dashed away up the beach to take his first Nutri-Grain Ironman win for the season. World and Australian Champion Eckstein settled for 5th, while round 1 winner Matt Bevilacqua was back 6th spot.
The women’s Nutri-Grain Ironwoman final was an incredible mix of youth and experience. With past, present and future champions of the sport all ready to stake their claim in Round 2. There was an incredible dynamic of amazing athletes which made for some very intriguing racing. As expected, the big names like Hancock and Creedy were up the front early on, But with the flat conditions it was definitely “survival of the fittest”. With only 2 waves (20metres) separating the entire field it was recently crowned World Champion Harriet Brown that ultimately wanted to win the most. Not known for her running, Brown was quick to dismount her ski and showed a clean set of heals to hold off her younger counter-parts in Naomi Scott and Maddi Spencer to continue her career “purple-patch” and win the Nutri-Grain Ironwoman Round 2 in emphatic fashion.