Hugh Dougherty.
Hugh Dougherty. Delly Carr

Portsea a challenge

ROUND two of the Kellogg's Nutri-grain Ironman Series last weekend took us down to Portsea Beach in Victoria.

The huge surf that Portsea is renowned for failed to show up but extremely strong winds and a few feet of swell still made conditions quite challenging.

We had to do three 25-minute ironman races, with about 10 minutes' rest between each race.

Consistent racing was going to be the key, with the athlete with the most points after the three races declared the winner.

Ky Hurst handled the tricky conditions the best and his swim legs proved too strong for the rest of us.

He had a first, second and a third in the three races to take the overall win. Shannon Eckstein returned to form after his ninth in round one to finish runner-up, with Kendrick Louis third.

The long swim legs brought me undone a bit and I could only manage an eighth, seventh and a 12th over the three races, which put me in ninth position at the end of the day.

It was not quite the result I was looking for but I felt a lot better and it was an improvement from round one. Hopefully I can jump a few more places again next race.

The curse of the black leader's jersey continues, with Caine Eckstein placing 14th and handing his series lead to Kendrick Louis.

We'll see if Kendrick can shake the curse when we race round three in Newcastle on Sunday week.

In the ironwoman series Alyce Bennett finished a disappointing 18th. A couple of mishaps on the ski cost her quite a bit of ground and she is hoping she can return to form at Newcastle over the shorter sprint format.

Courtney Hancock made it two from two and has a commanding lead over the rest of the girls.

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