TOP ironman Shannon Eckstein (pictured) said on Friday he is looking forward to competing in Rounds 3 and 4 of the 2014/15 Nutri-Grain Ironman Series in December.
The glitter strip with play host on December 20 and 21. The series will be launched in Western Australia next month.
The dates and venues were unveiled on Surfers beach on Friday. Rounds 5 and 6 will be staged at Newcastle Beach, NSW on January 3 and 4.
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Shannon said today that he hoped he would not have another close call with Matt Poole, like they did last time they approached the finish line in Newcastle last December.
Matt won that race and a protest.
Eckstein also said “We can’t wait to get in the water at these beaches and do what we do best. I’m stoked to be able to compete on my home beach of Surfers Paradise. I’m hoping for my eighth win this year, so a home break advantage is great.”
The Nutri-Grain Series will be broadcast on Channel Nine from January 11, 2014 and each weekend thereafter with the final to air on February 15, 2015.
The venues were once again chosen based on their wave action and on the recommendation of the Athlete Advisory Panel.
Contest Director, Zane Holmes, says, “Last year’s Nutri-Grain Ironman and Ironwoman Series showed that fantastic waves are what the athletes and fans want. All three venues for this year’s Series are home to waves that will challenge the athletes, making for an exciting season of racing.”
Surfers Paradise Alliance CEO Mike Winlaw, says the sport of Ironman racing is incredibly important to Surfers Paradise.
“We are so proud to be hosting rounds 3 and 4 of the Nutri-Grain Series at Surfers Paradise beach. Surfers is an iconic beach and synonymous with this sport. We are honoured to be supporting the Nutri-Grain Series this year.”
“Many of the athletes call our beaches home, so it will be a brilliant spectacle for the fans to see their local heroes racing and a thrill for the athletes to have their home town cheering them on.”
Courtney Hancock, defending Nutri-Grain Ironwoman Champion, can’t wait for the competition to begin.
“I am a Gold Coast girl so it is excellent to be able to compete at Surfers Paradise again. The bigger waves suit me best and I want to win the title again this year.”
The athletes have been undergoing rigorous training in the lead up to the Series this year and are excited to be competing in waves that will really put their skills to the test.