By Josh Minogue
LANA IS THE CHAMP…. almost.
Back to Back to Back Lana Rogers is on FIRE.
3 straight wins for the Noosa product and isn’t she loving it. When we all thought Georgia Miller had round 3 wrapped up, Lana dragged the result from the fire and put a stranglehold on the overall Nutri-Grain Ironwoman Series title. BUT, although she is a $1.01 red hot, bet your house and kids on her, favourite, I wouldn’t start engraving the trophy just yet. Lizzie Welborn has back to back 2nds and is close enough (once we start dropping worst results) to threaten.
Do I think anyone will catch Lana? Probably not. Lana Rogers might just win 5 straight races and be the undefeated, undisputed Ironwoman Queen. BUT, Elizabeth Pluimers once lost the entire series with 5 wins and a 16th place, stranger things have happened.
LIZZIE’S BEEN BUSY
New club, New Coach, New Lizzie, New…port.
The move to the Northern Beaches and the Newport club is paying off for Lizzie Welborn. She has gone to another level this summer after a lacklustre 2018/19 due to illness.
Looking at the point score Lizzie has 2 x seconds and a throw away 12th, if she can continue this purple patch of form, she has a chance (albeit smaller than me standing next to Tallie on the coverage) of winning the title this summer.
But I don’t think Lizzie’s given that much thought, she seems happy, content and genuinely excited to be competing for round wins. Maybe that is the secret formula.
20th last round; 1st this round!
Man, Luke Cuff must’ve changed something in the last fortnight?? Or got lucky? Right?? Nah probably not, actually in all honesty, that’s a big NO. Luke is good, really, really good, and round two was his first Nutri-Grain Ironman Series race in over 12 months; he looked nervous, raced rusty and looked out of rhythm all day. But in round 3 it was Luke Cuff who lived up to his potential: the best board paddler in the field, strong when the swim is first and as crafty a racer as you will ever meet.
Cuff is a contender, not overall this summer after only scoring 1 point in the opening 2 rounds, but he will win plenty more Nutri-Grain Ironman Series rounds, possibly this season, and certainly in the coming years.
DO THE MATHS
The men’s overall Nutri-Grain Series title race closed up quicker than a clam thanks to a 10th place finish from Matt Poole, his lead was cut in half to just 3 points back to Kendrick Louis with 2 rounds to go!
But the points table is deceiving, Tanyn Lyndon is currently 6th, 13 points behind, and that counts the zero he had in round one!! No doubt he will drop that, and the pressure is on, but he isn’t as far off the series lead as it seems. All of this means nothing until we hit North Cronulla in January but it’s worth remembering that the standings are going to get a shake up in the next 2 rounds
PREPARATION MIGHT BE OVERRATED
Tayla Halliday is pretty badass; she’s 16 and finished 4th on debut. But that isn’t the half of it.
Tayla only got a call up into the Nutri-Grain Ironwoman Series the day before round 3 when Naomi Scott withdrew due to illness.
The Alex Heads competitor had spent all day Friday and Saturday racing at the Queensland Interbranch Titles; and then jumped a plane to The Gong for Super Surf Teams League late Saturday. When she landed, she found out she’d been called up to the big show…. a childhood dream realised!
But there was only one problem, she didn’t have any craft. No gear, no dramas… she borrowed craft from her sister Ellie, chocked her ski up and with zero expectation, had a crack. And we all know the story from there.“No-one says it’s easy, but it sure is worth it.”