By: IronMan Series - Ky Hurst has returned to the Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain IronMan Series winner’s circle for the first time in two years after taking out round two at the Mornington Peninsula’s famed Portsea beach. Hurst finished with a win, a second and a third from the three races in the Triple Sprint format to beat long time rival Shannon Eckstein and rising star Kendrick Louis.
Louis, who was fourth in the season opener at Surfers Paradise last month, has now grabbed the overall Nutri-Grain Series lead with 37 points, one ahead of Hurst and Day with Eckstein a further two points back.
Round one winner Caine Eckstein had a day he’d rather forget and finished 14th to slip to fifth overall in the race for the title and the coveted Grant Kenny medal. In the opening leg of today’s first race, Hurst’s favoured swim leg, the open water swimming Olympian stole a massive lead and essentially set himself up for what proved to be a winning afternoon.
“That first race was about getting up the front and getting it under the belt,” Hurst said. “I managed to do that. After that I tried to keep it strong. “There was never a point where I went too hard. Everything was consistent and strong. “I tried to maintain that strength.”
The result was a far cry from Hurst’s round one performance where he led for part of the race only to labour into tenth place.
“That tenth place isn’t too bad but realistically to win a Series you need to be in that top five and be consistent every round,” he said.
“We’ve still got four more rounds left. Hopefully I can keep getting stronger as the races progress.
“I’m not writing it off completely. I’m definitely keeping an eye on it. Hopefully I can be consistent in the last four rounds.
“This is the kind of racing you really need to be consistent in.”
Louis, who will take the Series lead into round three, said the leader’s jersey wasn’t on his mind although he was happy that he had been able to stay consistent so far this season with a win in the trial and a third and fourth in the first two rounds. “I heard not long ago Shannon (Eckstein) say that if you finish third in every round, that can almost guarantee you a series, Louis said.
“And he’s a smart bloke. Consistency is the key. “It’s good to be doing what I’m doing right now. Mentally and physically I’m in the right spot.
“I’ve just got to keep this momentum going and hopefully stay on track, stay healthy and it all falls my way.”
The third event of the six round Series will be contested at Newcastle in New South Wales on Sunday January 22, with round four set down for battle along Perth’s coastline the following Sunday.