Daniel Collins scores special ironman victory | photos

FOCUS: Redhead's Daniel Collins on his way to victory in the open ironman final on Sunday at Blacksmiths Beach. Picture: Stephen Chu
FOCUS: Redhead's Daniel Collins on his way to victory in the open ironman final on Sunday at Blacksmiths Beach. Picture: Stephen Chu

Redhead’s Daniel Collins held off Kendrick Louis for a “special” open ironman victory at the NSW Surf Lifesaving title at Blacksmiths Beach on Sunday.

Third last year to give Redhead a first medal in the blue ribbon event, Collins led the swim and ski legs on Sunday before a match race with Louis in the board section.

Collins edged ahead in the paddle to shore and was up and running first on the beach to get the victory.  

“It’s an exciting time, especially because it’s always talked about how NSW clubs, in particular little clubs like Redhead, find it hard to get people to stay,” Collins said. “They go to big clubs set up for elite athletes, so it’s nice to do it from home in front of the coaches, family and the support network you’ve had around since you were a little kid. It’s pretty special.”

Collins was also second in surf race, helped Redhead to third in the taplin relay and was second with Isak Costello in board rescue.

Clubmate Nicola Owen was another star, winning the under-17 ironwoman and board and helping Redhead to gold in the single ski and taplin relays. Other individual Hunter winners were Redhead’s Lily Costello in the under-19 women’s 2km beach run and Swansea Belmont’s Nic Stoddart in the under-15 male board race.

Kyle Lehmann and Josh Murphy (Swansea Belmont) won the under-17 male board rescue and combined with Jack McGregor to claim the board relay.

Owen joined with Amelia Ross and Claudia Yates in the taplin relay win. They linked with Kayla Hatcher to win the single ski relay.

On Friday, Saxon Coates and Stoddart got hosts Swansea Belmont off to a strong start at the three-day carnival.

The pair won the under-15 male board rescue before backing up with Ashby Allen to claim the board relay. They then combined with Kalen Gocher to take out the Cameron relay. Allen, Coates and Stoddart, along with Daniel Chisholm, also picked up silver in the surf teams.

Also on day one of the three-day carnival, Cooks Hills’ Bella Williams and Freya Konetschnik won the under-15 female board rescue and helped the club to silver in the Cameron and board relays.

Swansea Belmont’s Angela Leadbeatter claimed the open women’s 2km beach run after winning the event at the masters titles on Wednesday.

Redhead’s Ethan Whiteman won the over 24 restricted male surf race.