“Irons – Pleasure worth the pain for Kendrick Louis” – Harvie Allison, of Surf Sports Mag. gives us an insight into #TeamSpeedo ambassador’s triumph at the Australian Surf Lifesaving Championships (‘The Aussies’) in March earlier this year.

“Pleasure worth all the pain as Kendrick adds his name to who’s who of Ironman champions Kendrick Louis has known pleasure and pain on the sands of Scarborough Beach but nothing as exhilarating as winning the Australian open Ironman championship.

Above: Kendrick Louis wins the Aus IronMan Championship Title wearing the jammer he helped designed – The Eclipse.


Not only is it the first open Ironman title for the 27-year-old but also the first for the famous Manly club that has had winners in almost all events but had failed to claim the blue riband race. Louis held off the challenges of Coolangatta Gold king Ali Day (Surfers Paradise) and eight-time champion Shannon Eckstein (Northcliffe) after being near the front for the entire journey and then breaking away on a wave in the final board leg.

“I really worked the start on the board and got out clean. I just had to get the job done. When I picked up the last little wave the emotions took over.”

He is the first new winner of the Ironman since 2013, while there was also a changing of the guard in the open Ironwoman final as Noosa Heads’ Lana Rogers raced away to her first Aussies title with a magnificent victory over retiring two-time winner Rebecca Creedy (Kurrawa) and rising Sydney star Lizzie Welborn (North Bondi).

Louis won the under-19 Ironman title twice at Scarborough in 2008 and 2009, but also suffered one of his lowest moments on the West Australian sand when he suffered a knee injury that threatened his career.

That pain was banished from his mind as he enjoyed the biggest win of what has been a topsy-turvy career.
“It’s 10 years since I won my last Aussies Ironman title here in the under-19s, it’s a bloody bittersweet victory, I can tell you,” he said.
“I think over the last few years I’ve really earnt to harness and control my emotions.
“I ran around Dan Collins (Redhead) and overtook Shannon in that transition into the board and I thought ‘I’ve still got something in me’.

“I really worked the start on the board and got out clean. I just had to get the job done. When I picked up the last little wave the emotions took over.”

Louis was near the front of the pack after the opening ski leg and then moved to the lead in the swim before a wave brought a host of competitors alongside him.

On the board, he and Eckstein moved clear and looked to have the race between them until Day stormed into calculations just before the winning wave carried Louis to the beach as he pumped his fists in the air.

Above: Kendrick claims the title.

 

For ironman winner Louis it has taken him a decade to turn his under 19 Australian titles from 2008 an 2009 into open gold a decade later – again berating Ali Day as he did back in ’09 and eight time champion Shannon Eckstein.

Taking a leaf out of unstoppable US swimmer Kate Ledecky’s book, 27-year-old Louis wanted to lead from the outset and that’s what he did from his opening heat until he crossed the line to add his name among the greats – but the first from the famous Manly club in the 50 odd year history of the event.”

 

Article and images courtesy of Harvie Allison, Publisher/Editor – Surf Sports Magazine.
Read the full Aussie’s wrap up edition (Issue 54 | Winter Edition), free to download from here.

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