Top ironman field for exhibition series

Thursday, 20 February 2014

New Zealand's best ironmen and women will compete in an innovative three-round series in front of the country's best junior surf lifesaving talent in Mount Maunganui this weekend.

The exhibition series will take place during the Oceans 14 New Zealand under-14 championships at Mount Maunganui's Main Beach, with one round on Saturday and two rounds on Sunday.

Included in the lineup are two-time New Zealand ironman champion Max Beattie (Omanu), former winner Chris Moors (Red Beach) and Midway's Cory Taylor, who won this season's inaugural Mount Monster endurance race.  They'll face a field with an international flavour, courtesy of English champion George Haynes and France's Julien Lalanne, who are both based at the Mount club over summer.

Mount local Andrew Newton, Omanu's Ben Cochrane and Papamoa's Ben Johnston also have strong recent form.

The women's ranks are led by arch-rivals Natalie Peat (Papamoa) and Danielle McKenzie (Mairangi Bay), while Mount's Katie Wilson, Piha's Kirsty Wannan and Frenchwoman Emmanuelle Bescheron will also be chasing hard.

The series has a unique format, designed to showcase the wave skills of the athletes.  Saturday's racing will see athletes go twice around a standard 12min ironman course, while Sunday's first round will involve an individual surf race, a board race and a ski race.  Points will be accumulated across all three disciplines.

The finale will see two ironman races held one after the other, with points again accumulated.

Oceans 14 is a four-day carnival involving nearly 900 junior competitors, beginning today.

The lineups

Men: Max Beattie, Chris Moors, Cory Taylor, George Haynes, Andrew Newton, Ben Cochrane, Ben Johnston, Michael Bryant, Hamish Treanor, Julien Lalanne, Andrew Trembath, Adam Simpson, Danny Hart, Sam Shergold, Bjorn Battaerd.

Women: Natalie Peat, Danielle McKenzie, Kirsty Wannan, Katie Wilson, Kathryn Stewart, Maia Bryant, Emmanuelle Bescheron, Ashley Cochrane, Hannah Williams, Kelsi Boocock, Amy Barron, Libby Bradley.

JTPIX_Monster -9254

New Zealand ironman champion Max Beattie. Photo by Jamie Troughton/Dscribe Media Services