Kendrick Louis is one of NSW's top chances in the Coolangatta Gold.
Kendrick Louis is one of NSW's top chances in the Coolangatta Gold.

Ironman out to right a wrong in Coolie Gold

Kendrick Louis holds a unique place in the history of the Coolangatta Gold as the only man racing for the elite crown who made the decision to race a few kilometres more than his rivals.

If it wasn't tough enough at 41.8km, Louis found himself doing a few extra kilometres the last time he completed.

"Lesson learned," Louis said of his race in 2016 which saw him actually head back the wrong way and racing another 10 minutes to re-round a mark he had missed in the ski leg.

 

Kendrick Louis is one of NSW’s top chances in the Coolangatta Gold.
Kendrick Louis is one of NSW’s top chances in the Coolangatta Gold.

 

"I had to go back into the wind and it took a lot out of me.

"I got to the finish and I was gutted. Then they said if you miss it, it's just a three minute penalty.

"I won't be making that mistake again.''

Louis' training for the iconic surf life saving event on October 13 has been a balancing act between short and long distance work.

The Manly ironman needed to work on both so he could compete as part of the Australian exam at the recent International surf rescue challenge in Durban, South Africa, which finished this week and was won by Australia from New Zealoand and South Africa.

Kendrick Louis is chasing his first success at the Coolangatta Gold.
Kendrick Louis is chasing his first success at the Coolangatta Gold.

"I have to prepare for short course racing and have enough speed for it but I also have to have enough in the tank to do the Coolangatta Gold,'' he said.

"It's a real balancing act right now between getting a big base in but also managing to keep the speed. A balancing act between being fast and furious and a stayer."

The 41.8km Gold is for the first time the opening leg of the new-look Nutri-Grain series and for Louis an important race in his quest for a maiden crown in the famous professional surf series.

Last year Ali Day, a long time rival of Louis's on the Nutri-Grain circuit, won a record sixth Coolangatta Gold in 3hrs 52min 15 sec.

It was one of the fastest ever times for the endurance event involving more than 40km of surf ski paddling board paddling, swimming and running.

The majority of the ironman and ironwoman fields contesting this season's professional circuit will line-up in the race.

Athletes are able to drop their worse performance over the six-event series.