Current Surf Life Saving New Zealand (SLSNZ) Black Fin, Cory Taylor, has won his first Ocean 6 Series Ironman race at Surfers Paradise in Australia.
Racing for BMD Northcliffe but from Gisborne on New Zealand’s east coast, the Kiwi stormed home in first place in one of the most elite surf sport events in the world ahead of well-known Australian athletes including Matt Bevilacqua, Ali Day, Shannon Eckstein and Matt Poole.
After his win, Taylor said “still pinching myself!” before going on to thank everyone for their messages and support.
The Surfers Paradise round is the fifth in the series of six, and is designed to bring the action and excitement of surf sports into the modern age.
With only one round to go this year, at Wanda in New South Wales, Taylor sits in third place overall with a good chance of getting a podium at the end of the series.
Although Kendrick Louis (Manly) is only two points behind, and Ben Carberry (Currumbin Beach) a further 15 points adrift, meaning it will be a thrilling finale for the Kiwi.
SLSNZ Sport Manager, Mike Lord, said it is a “huge achievement” and everyone back here is “incredibly proud” of this milestone.
“This result is huge for Cory [Taylor] and we’re incredibly proud of him. To win an event of this calibre is incredible and just goes to show how talented he is.
“We’re sure this is the first of many big wins for Cory [Taylor] and we’re excited for his athletic future as he’s really cemented his place as one of the best in the world now.”
“On behalf of Surf Life Saving New Zealand and our members, I would like to pass on my congratulations to Cory for this historic result,” Lord added.
Ocean6 combines the skills of an Olympic swimmer, with a world class track and field athlete and an ocean-faring ski and board paddler into one high-octane competition.
Athletes compete across six disciplines; Board Paddling, Open Ocean Swimming, Surf Ski, Taplin Relay, Beach Flags, and the flagship IronMan and IronWoman professional competition which shows how tough these events are known to be, making Taylor’s inaugural win even bigger.
This win comes off the back of his Lifesaving World Championships result, where he became the World Board Champion in November.