Nutri-Grain ironman series: Redhead’s Daniel Collins one top-10 finish away from grand final place

DANIEL Collins believes he needs onemore top-10 Summer of Surf finish to make the national ironman series final after bouncing back with agut-busting seventh at Torquay.

COMEBACK KID: Redhead’s Daniel Collins heads out again during the gruelling ironman final of the Torquay round of the Summer of Surf series on the weekend. Picture: Shane Myers

The Redhead clubbie from The Junctionovercame early setbacks at the Victorian raceon Saturday and a first-heat exit at Fingal Bay last month tomoveto 10thoverall butfourth among those not already qualified for the national ironman series decider at Cronulla on February 24-26. The 20-year-oldand clubmate Isak Costello, who was 16that Torquay and now 15thoverall, are chasing top-five finishes among non-qualified athletes in the Summer of Surfto make thethree-round 40-man grand final.

Collins, who was eighth at Newport in round two,was hunting one more top-10 result at North Wollongong (January 6-7) or Surfers Paradise (February 4).

“If I can get another top 15, top 10, that will probably secure me a spot,” Collins said.“That’s the goal, to get in another final, get some more points and lock it down.”

“I was really happy to get in the mix again and I’m looking forward to the next couple of rounds.”

Collins had to work hard on Saturday for his bestresult in the ironman series.

SPENT: Daniel Collins after the ironman final at Torquay. Picture: Shane Myers

“I didn’t get much luck in the whole race,” he said.

“I led the first swim, then I got hit by a couple of waves on the board, then missed a couple on the way in.

“I wasn’t having a lucky day, then that last ski leg I workedmy way into a good spot, then got down a wave right after I turned the can, then the run up the beach absolutely killed me. I was very spent after that.”

It followed a disappointing exit in big surf at Fingal Bay in round three.

“I got smashed onmy ski on the way out in my heat, I got hit by a four-foot set, lost my ski and there was nothing I could have done,” he said.

“I was in the wrong spot at the wrong time, but that’s the surf, that’s racing.”

The race at Torquay, which was a straight-out final that doubled as the Jim Wall Memorial, was the only endurance format on the circuit and took in two legs each of run, swim, board andski.

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