Kiwis fight hard at Nutri Grain Series

Monday, 21 December 2015

Rounds Three and Four of the Nutri-Grain Ironman Series brought some challenges for the Kiwis over the weekend but New Zealand coach Jason Pocock says he's happy with their performance. 

Omanu's Max Beattie, Midway's Cory Taylor and Mairangi Bay's Danielle McKenzie created history when they qualified for the prestigious series back in September. Never before has New Zealand had three athletes taking part in the same series.

They all put in top efforts in the first two rounds of the series that were held in Queensland last month to put them in steady positions leading into this weekend.

Mr Pocock says Max performed the best over the weekend with two solid days of racing.

On Saturday, he showed what he had learnt from the first two rounds in the pursuit format, finishing a place higher, in eleventh.

"Yesterday he had a good race, being in the front of the bunch with the heavy hitters for the first half of the M shaped course."

Mr Pocock says both days of racing were tough for Cory. "He had to race from the back of the field in both races but he showed tenacity and heart to race through the two packs and have some really good ski and board paddles, he says.

"On Sunday he was right in the mix, going into the return trip on the first swim leg but an outside wave came through and everyone except him came through on it so he was having to chase from there."

After four rounds, Max is sitting in 9th place with Cory in 17th.

In the women's competition, Dani couldn't buy a wave all weekend but showed good speed on her craft. Mr Pocock says her best race was on Sunday where she had a sizeable lead on the first of the two ski legs.

"She missed some waves on the next swim leg but stayed in a group of women racing for 6-10th place before making a few mistakes in the last board leg and finally finishing in 15th.

Mr Pocock says the athletes are a bit disappointed with the outcomes over the weekend but there were some more great lessons learnt.

"They know that they have to look back on the process and reflect on what they did well and ensure that becomes the norm. They things that were not so good can be modified if they have control over it," he says.

The series is made up of six rounds. The final two rounds will be held at North Cronulla Beach in New South Wales from January 16-17.

Keep up with the series via their Facebook page on via Twitter.

For more information, please contact:

Lisa Smith, Media & Communications Specialist, SLSNZ
Phone 09 303 9335 or 0276 488 823