Just months after finishing third in the Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain Surf Ironman championship, Matt Poole has gone one better to defeat Nutri-Grain champion Ali Day and finish a narrow second at the Australian Titles to seven-times champion Shannon Eckstein.Eckstein claimed the win at Kirra Beach, cementing himself as the most successful surf ironman of all time by overcoming Trevor Handy’s record to claim his seventh Australian Title. Poole finished second, despite re-injuring his back during the board and ski races the day earlier, and confirmed his position as one of the country’s top waterman. He and Day are the best of a new generation but veteran Eckstein showed no signs of slowing down.
Finishing second in the Australian Open Ironman behind Shannon is as good as win! The man’s a freak.
Pooley exclaimed post race.
It marks the end of a successful Australian ironman season for Poole but only the beginning of his international season, when he will head back to Hawaii to contest the Molokai2Oahu paddleboard championships.
Meanwhile, Poole’s Red Bull stablemate Jordan Mercer proved just as competitive in the women’s events, claiming the third place finish in the open board race and falling oh-so-short of the podium in the open ironwoman.
The Noosa product, who comes from surf ironman royalty, contested a harrowing 11 team and individual events over the course of a few days, and even more races when you take into consideration heats and preliminary finals, qualifying for four grand finals and coming away with two medals.
Like Poole, Mercer will now prepare for Hawaii where she will contest her Molokai2Ohau title and look to break her own world record in the prone paddle should conditions conform.