Nailbiting moments as young Maddy gets the ironing Dunn
LISET Teis never dared dream her little girl would take on the nation's best ironwomen and win.
So little wonder the mother of Mooloolaba rookie Maddy Dunn was on an emotional rollercoaster during the fourth round of the Telstra Ironwoman Series at Surfers Paradise on Saturday.
First came elation at seeing 18-year-old Maddy take the lead.
Then came the nerves as the heavy surf threatened to wipe her out.
Finally there was pure disbelief, joy and quite a few tears as she crossed the finish line three minutes ahead of some of the best competitors in the world.
Maddy was only in the field because another competitor withdrew but turned in an outstanding performance in rough seas.
She made her move during the ski leg on lap two of the three-and-a-half lap endurance event and Ms Teis, watching from the shore, admitted she was not convinced she would be able to maintain the effort.
"I kept thinking 'She's going to stuff it up'," she said.
"Everybody was getting hammered in the surf so I thought she would take a nose dive or fall off her ski.
"It was gut-wrenching.
"When she came into the last ski leg, I thought, 'She's got to be home and hosed now'.
"She had a three-minute lead and even if she fell and had to swim it, I thought she had it."
Ms Teis said she spent a lot of time crying as she watched Maddy head for the finish line.
"It was such a huge achievement for a young girl."
There was little time for celebration as Maddy was back in training yesterday to prepare for the next race in Coolum this weekend, although Mrs Teis allowed her a small reprieve from household chores.
"But, of course, life has to go on,'' she said.
"She enjoyed that one day and now it's a case of let's get back into it."
Mooloolaba Surf Club head coach Michael King, who took Maddy under his wing three years ago, said the teenager had always been capable of big things.
"The way she goes about her racing, you know she is going to give it her best every time she puts her foot on the line," he said.