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It's Bond-ie beach

Joe Collins
Bond alumni Joe Collins is searching for his Nutri-Grain Ironman Series title  

The greatest Ironmen and women in the country will assemble at Kurrawa Beach on the weekend for the final event of the Nutri Grain series and the field is littered with Bond athletes.

Series leaders Ali Day and Lana Rogers, and former champions Georgia Miller and Harriet Brown, are part of Bond Director of Swimming Kyle Samuelson’s surf squad.

Third-placed Joe Collins and fellow top 10 competitor Corey Taylor are Bond alumni.

Collins and Day had been neck and neck all season and the series was starting to look like a two-horse race until the last rounds at Maroubra.

The surf at the Southern Sydney suburb wreaked havoc on the eight-man final with round one winner Day and round two victor Collins both falling off their skis in the opening leg.

It paved the way for defending champion Matt Bevilacqua to claim back-to-back Maroubra titles and advance past Collins into second place.

He sits a single point behind Day with Collins another ten points back in third.

It is the position that Collins has twice before occupied at season’s end and the Bachelor of Commerce graduate is desperate to climb another step or two on the podium this year.  

“I came into the season with the goal of winning it all and I’m in striking range,” Collins said.

“I probably need to win two this weekend to get that top spot on the podium, but anything is possible and I’m coming in with some momentum.

“I am ready to ramp it up and try to give it to Ali.” 

It’s an all too familiar position for four-time series winner Day.

“It’s our grand final really this weekend,” Day said.

“Obviously one point is not enough, you wish it was 30 points and it was going to be an easy weekend.  

“I’m lucky enough to have been in this position many times before, so I’m experienced in knowing what it feels like to turn up as the leader and being the one with the target on my back .’’

Day said the Gold Coast environment attracted the best of the best and with everyone pushing each other in the ocean, he believes the edge can be found in the pool at Bond University.  

 “The Gold Coast is the Mecca for Ironman and Ironwoman racing, you see the likes of Joe (Collins), Bevvie (defending champion Matt Bevilaqua) and Corey Taylor all the time,” he said.

“You’re out there training and you’ll paddle past them, it happens all the time, so it is definitely the place to be if you want to be the best in the world. 

“So we are super fortunate that we’ve got an amazing coach here in Kyle and we get to train at Bond University.’’    

Chasing Day up and down the Bond University pool each day is Rogers who is reaping the rewards of the decision to move from the Sunshine Coast to the Gold Coast during the off season. 

She claimed her second win of the 2023/24 summer at Maroubra and will go into the final round with one hand already on the trophy. 

The two-time series winner holds a 27-point lead over Kiwi Ironwoman Olivia Corrin, with teammate Miller third, a further seven points behind.

“We have such a dynamic squad both here at Bond University and at BMD Northcliffe,” Rogers said.

“I think the great thing is we want the best for each other but we also want the best for ourselves.

“Going for the third title means everything to me, I didn’t think I could do it once let alone twice and being in the running for a third is unbelievable.”

 

Bondies ready for the Nutri-Grain series

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