The first round of the Next Gen Nutri-Grain IronMan & IronWoman Series kicked off today on the Gold Coast, as the junior stars battled it out to secure the first places in next year’s Series.

Over the next three days the U19 Ironmen and Ironwomen will battle it out, with the overall winners securing a spot in next year’s Nutri-Grain IronMan & IronWoman Series.

The first round of the Next Gen Series delivered tough conditions for young guns, with high temperatures and long sandbanks testing their endurance.

The IronMen got racing underway with former Newport turned Northcliffe competitor, Mitch Morris, delivering an emphatic win.

“It was a tough race. That bank really hurt, trying to come back from the soft into the hard and back to the soft and trying to wade through the waves was really tough,” Morris said.

“Yeah it’s an opportunity to go straight into Nutri-Grain Series as a pathway. Auden [Parish] who won last year, has really excelled at it watching Ali [Day] and Ben Carberry, copying them where they go and when they go for it.

“These conditions I train in it every day at Northcliffe.  Now I will recover, go and have an ice bath and get ready for tomorrow,” he said.

In the IronWoman, it was Burleigh Heads Mowbray Park’s Charlotte Cross who stood up in the opening round, after the 30 minute Enduro race.  The lead changed throughout in the junior Ironwoman, with a challenging shorey, producing a fair share of spills in the board and ski legs.

“That race was tough, I didn’t have the best swim so I was behind by a bit and then I got hit [by a wave] in the ski. But I knew I just had to keep chipping away,” Cross said.

“[Michael] Kingy before the race said it was about consistency and that’s what I had in my head the whole way and it paid off.

“It was definitely a constant grind…those conditions are tricky, it doesn’t look too big but that shorey is coming down hard and always makes it interesting.

“You definitely have to set yourself up well and last year I didn’t quite do that. I had a sixth or seventh in the first race and it’s really hard to come back from that.

“This year’s goal was to have a better start, and it was good to get a win today…now I’ve just got to be consistent.

“It would mean the world to me to win Next Gen, it’s been a big goal. I got a little bit of a taste of it three years ago…I got called up for the last three rounds [of the Series]. Ever since then it’s been my goal to go in from the start, and this is a great way to get there,” she said.

The second round of the Nutri-Grain Next Gen Series will continue tomorrow with the Specialist format.  With points on offer for each round, athletes will put it all on the line with the overall points leader booking their spot the 2023/24 Nutri-Grain Series.


IRONWOMAN:  1. CROSS, Charlotte (Burleigh Heads Mowbray Park); 2. MEEHAN, Ruby (Northcliffe); 3. IVES, Kalani (Northcliffe); 4. SMITH-WELCH, Gemma (Sunshine Beach); 5. MENEFY, Charlize (Burleigh Heads Mowbray Park); 6. JENTZ, Chelsea (Southport); 7. BAILEY, Claudia (Newport); 8. HOLMESBY, Holly (Currumbin); 9. GARRETT, Tilly (Manly); 10. KIBBLE, Analise (Newport)

IRONMAN: 1. MORRIS, Mitchell (Northcliffe); 2. GREEN, Ryan (Currumbin); 3. KING, Zach (Burleigh Heads Mowbray Park); 4. MORRIS, Jake (Northcliffe); 5. HARLAND, Kai (Northcliffe); 6. PIPER, Joel (Maroochydore); 7. BRENNAN, Callum (Currumbin); 8. HOWELL, Ky (Burleigh Heads Mowbray Park); 9. BESSELL, Cooper (Dicky Beach); 10. CHRISTENSEN, Ben (North Bondi)

Click here for live results across the 2023 Nutri-Grain Next Gen Series.