Queenslanders Auden Parish (Northcliffe) and Grace Otto (Sunshine Beach) have taken out the opening round of the U19 Next Gen IronMan and IronWoman Series involving 46 of the countries rising surf sports stars on Friday at Kurrawa Beach on the Gold Coast

In its second year of competition, the Nutri-Grain Next-Gen involved 46 of the countries most talented rising iron athletes with the overall winners of the three race series, earning automatic qualification for the 2022/23 Nutri-Grain IronMan and IronWoman Series. 

Competing as a curtain raiser to the Nutri-Grain IronMan and IronWoman Series, the U19 men competed in two short iron races with the best 10 from each heading through to a 40-minute M-Shape EnduroSurf final. While the U19 Women competed in a straight out final in the M-Shape EnduroSurf to put the first points of the series on the board.  

Strong south-easterly winds made for a trying day as the next generation of IronMen and Women battled the shores of Kurrawa with Parish and Otto claiming victory in two closes races.  

“It was certainly pretty tough out there with the wind but it feels great to get the win,” said Parish. “The conditions were really tricky, you have to come back to the south each time, if you got stuck too far down there was a lot of ground to make-up. 

“I had to work through the swim pack to get to the front, and I was able to pick up a body wave in the swim and hit the front and I will now look to recover as best I can ready for tomorrow”. 

Otto echoed Parish’s comments re the victory and challenging conditions. 

“It was really windy and hard to control the ski on the way in so it was definitely very challenging but I’m really happy to get the win,” said Otto. “The conditions and competition were very tough so I am very happy and now need to recover for tomorrow”. 

Both Parish and Otto know all too well the opportunity ahead with the overall winners post race three on Sunday, earning their place in the open event next year. 

“It is really great to have this opportunity and thanks to IronSeries for hosting this event and giving us this opportunity, hopefully we will get the chance to race against our idols pretty soon,” said Parish. 

“Racing in the Next Gen ahead of the professionals is a great opportunity and it will be really good to be able to watch them go around as well,” added Otto. 

NSW Club-mates Noah Steiner and Nicholas Middleton from Wanda came second and third respectively in the men’s race while Gemma Smith-Welch (Sunshine Beach) was a close second to her club-mate Otto in the women’s event with Sarah Perkins (Alexandra Headland) finishing third making it a trifecta for the Sunshine Coast. 

Round two and three of the Nutri-Grain Next Gen will take place across Saturday 5 February – Sunday 6 February and act as curtain raisers to Rounds 5 and 6 of the Nutri-Grain IronMan and IronWoman Series. 

Tune in on Saturday 5 February 2022 for the Nutri-Grain IronMan and IronWoman Series, 12-2PM nationally on Channel 9 and 2-4PM on Sky Sports in New Zealand.

For the full results from today see here.