Professional IronMan racing was born out of the movie ‘Coolangatta Gold’ which featured multiple Australian IronMan champion Grant Kenny and was won by golden boy Guy Leech. With significant media attention beginning to grow, Surf Life Saving Australia established the ‘Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain Grand Prix’ in 1986. The aim of the series was to generate a high public profile and showcase for the sport, the athletes and the surf life saving movement.
Over the years the Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain IronMan Series has evolved, testing and challenging athletes through different formats and styles of racing. The Series has made household names of the likes of Kenny, Leech, Trevor Hendy and the Mercer brothers, Darren and Dean.
The introduction of IronWomen in the series took it to a new level and attracted a whole new generation of fans with stars like Karla Gilbert, Reen Corbett and Kristy Cameron becoming heroines to thousands of young women.
While the Series has continued to evolve with varying formats, competitors and venues, one key element of IronMan and IronWoman racing has remained – the surf. The Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain IronMan Series puts Australia’s top multi-discipline athletes through their paces, forcing them to take on the best and worst Mother Nature has to throw at them. Big swells, sun, wind, rain – no matter what the conditions, these athletes take them head on.
For almost 30 years, Kellogg’s have partnered with Surf Life Saving Australia to deliver this unique sporting event that has not only produced some of Australia’s finest and fittest athletes, but has also helped drive membership for Surf Life Saving, especially through its Nipper ranks.
The Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain IronMan Series and IronWoman Series has grown to become the world’s elite surf sports competition and one of summer’s most iconic events – where only the best of the best have their chance to claim the prize pool, the glory and the prestige of being the crowned the Series Champion. It is survival of the fittest.
While names like Kenny, Leech, Hendy and the Mercers are now the Legends of the Surf, it is the likes of Shannon and Caine Eckstein, Zane Holmes, Ky Hurst, Courtney Hancock, Elizabeth Pluimers and Hayley Bateup who are inspiring the youth of today.
Watch them become legends too!