Queen Elizabeth reigns at Noosa
NORTHCLIFFE'S Elizabeth Pluimers captured her second Ironwoman Series crown with a commanding display at Noosa Heads yesterday.
Kristyl Smith, who held a slender one-point series lead over Pluimers coming in to the sixth and final round, finished fourth and was resigned to finishing second overall for the sixth time in her career.
Pluimers won the series four years ago but said this victory was the sweetest.
"Back in 2008 when I won the series I didn't win a race so that was a little bit disappointing. Then to win four races (out of five) last year and not win the title, there was some karma which equalled it out a bit. So this time, to have a couple of wins (at Perth and Noosa Heads) and to win the series I'm so stoked," she said.
Pluimers, 25, dominated yesterday's eliminator format, winning all three knockout races.
In the eight-woman final, she made her move in the first run transition after the swim leg, before extending her advantage on the board.
She held her lead on the ski leg to emerge a six-second victor over Brodie Moir with home-town teenager Jordan Mercer a further two seconds adrift.
"I've been trying to work those run legs on the soft sand," Pluimers said.
"Shannon (Eckstein) and Trevor (Hendy) have worked those run legs for the past few years and I've been trying to copy them and really work them."
She finished on 119 points ahead of Smith (112).
And while Smith was resigned to her sixth runner-up tag, Pluimers was elated to snap her own sequence of second placings.
"I've been runner-up myself at the Aussies (national championships), the Coolangatta Gold and in this series for the last two years so I'm stoked to be out of that second place as well," Pluimers said.
Defending champion Courtney Hancock (99) finished third overall, after her slim hopes disappeared when she was eliminated in the second of three races yesterday.
At just 18, Noosa Heads ironwoman Mercer finished fourth overall to show she will be a force to be reckoned with in coming summers.
She is one of three Sunshine Coast competitors to earn berths in next summer's series after finishing in the top-10 this time around.
Met Caloundra's Rebecca Creedy claimed fifth place yesterday to seal eighth spot overall while Mooloolaba's Allira Richardson moved into the top-10, snaring seventh place at Noosa to move to ninth spot overall.
But it was at the expense of her teammate Kelly-Ann Perkins, who came 19th yesterday to tumble from 8th place to 11th place overall.
OVERALL STANDINGS: L Pluimers 119 K Smith 112 C Hancock 99 J Mercer 90 B Moir 89 C Falzon 75 H Brown 72 R Creedy 70 A Richardson 64 B Hancock 61.