VIDEOS, PHOTOS: Summer of Surf - Kendrick Louis, Rebecca Creedy win at Fingal Bay as Justin McMorland flies Hunter flag

WINNER: Manly's Kendrick Louis claimed the ironman final and run swim run event at Fingal Bay on the weekend. Picture: Shane Myers

WINNER: Manly's Kendrick Louis claimed the ironman final and run swim run event at Fingal Bay on the weekend. Picture: Shane Myers

AFTER a big winter off and just three weeks of pool training, Redhead’s Justin McMorland was hoping to survive the first ironman round at the Summer of Surf series on the weekend at Fingal Bay.

The 19-year-old, though, turned out to be the shining light for the Hunter in challenging surf for the third stop on the six-round Summer of Surf circuit.

The Caves Beach local was knocked out in the first round of the ironman at the Alexandra Headland and Newport events but progressed all the way to the final at Fingal, which was won by Manly’s Kendrick Louis on Sunday. Rebecca Creedy took out the ironwoman decider.

McMorland’s Redhead clubmates Daniel Collins and Isak Costello were 11th and 12th respectively on the ironman standings heading into the Fingal Bay round and hoping to push their claims for qualification into the $200,000 series final on February 24-26 at Cronulla. 

However, Collins and Costello were eliminated in the first and third rounds respectively on Saturday as powerful surf favoured craft specialists.

McMorland, a two-time junior national champion on the board, was sixth in his heat to move straight into round three, where he was eighth to qualify for Sunday’s final.

He finished 15th of 21 in the decider where Louis held off James Lacy (Mermaid), Hayden White (Currumbin) and ironman legend Shannon Eckstein (Northcliffe) in a bunch finish.

McMorland was “over the moon” to be rubbing shoulders with the nation’s elite ironman in the final in his first season on the Summer of Surf circuit.

“I wasn’t really even planning to have a go at making the series, but I’m just starting to get fit again and get back in the pool, so I’m heaps stoked to come away with a 15th,” McMorland said.

“I just had a pretty big winter off and I got hurt early last year with a shoulder injury, which stopped me swimming, and I’ve just been back in the pool for the last three weeks.

“I was just stoked to get through the first round and I ended up getting through the second and making the final, so I couldn’t have asked for more, just to be in that final.”

McMorland said the conditions at Fingal suited him.

“The order of ski, board, swim definitely is a favourite order of mine, and the surf was great too,” he said. “It’s definitely got me hyped up and I’m heaps more dedicated to start training harder and better, so I’ll probably do the ones at Wollongong and Surfers Paradise.”

His next goal is to make the NSW team from the state interbranch titles on December 10-11 at The Lakes, Budgewoi.

The men's final finish.

The ironman/ironwoman finals results on Sunday were:

The women's final finish.

Nutri-Grain Ironman Final Results

1) Kendrick Louis - Manly 

2) James Lacy - Mermaid 

3) Hayden White - Currumbin 

4) Shannon Eckstein - Northcliffe 

5) Jackson Maynard - Currumbin 

6) Luke Cuff - Mermaid 

7) Max Brooks - Newport

8) Tanyn Lyndon - Burleigh 

9) Ben Carberry - Burleigh

10) Simon Murfet - Mermaid 

11) Cory Taylor - Northcliffe

12) Jay Furniss - Manly

13) Matt Poole - Kurrawa

14) Matt Bevilacqua - Kurrawa

15) Justin McMorland - RedHead

16) Jarryd McDonell - Northcliffe

17) Cam Cole - Alex Headlands

18) Nathan Gray _ Surfers Paradise

19) TJ Hendy - Surfers Paradise

20) Hamish Chapman - Mermaid

21) Kody Innis - Burleigh 

Nutri-Grain Ironwoman Final 

1) Rebecca Creedy - Kurrawa 

2) Lizzie Welborn - Nth Bondi 

3) Emma Dick - Burleigh 

4) Brielle Cooper  - Nth Burleigh 

5) Kristyl Smith - Northcliffe 

6) Taylor Puskaric - Manly 

7) Lana Rogers - Noosa 

8) Harriet Brown - Northcliffe 

9) Ella Heiniger - Nth Burleigh 

10) Naomi Scott - Manly 

11) Devon Halligan - Burleigh 

12) Alex Nolan - Northcliffe 

13) Jade Mikle - City of Perth

14) Lara Moses - Newport 

15) Courtney Hancock 

16) Olivia Heaton - Newport

17) Tara Coleman - Nth Burleigh 

18) Kirsty Higgison - Surfers Paradise 

19) Amy Nurthen - Currumbin

20) Jayde Hardstaff - City of Perth 

21) Allie Britton - Nth Burleigh

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