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DHL 2011 Aussies: Hurst, Bell claim surf race crowns

Olympian Ky Hurst has claimed his seventh Open surf race crown despite swimming off-course at the DHL 2011 Aussies at Kurrawa on the Gold Coast today.

The tricky conditions even threw Australia's greatest surf swimmer into a spin.

He trailed fellow Ironman Shannon Eckstein by 15 metres as they rounded the string of turning buoys.

"I am normally pretty good with my directions but I ended up way off course and I looked up and saw Shannon way out in front," Hurst said.

"I had to make sure he wasn't that far in front when we got into the wave area.

"I knew I was swimming well and just had to catch him."

Hurst, 30, managed to bridge the gap and he pulled down a wave that did not break kindly for Eckstein.

Hurst then pulled down another wave after Eckstein and Mooloolaba's Josh Minogue found a wave of their own on the southern end.

But it was Hurst who bodysurfed his wave on the northern end to a winning advantage to claim his seventh gold from Eckstein and Minogue.

Meanwhile Maroochydore's Miranda Bell won her first Australian open women's surf race title from Northcliffe pair Courtney Hancock and Harriet Brown.

Bell, who at only 18-years old is still eligible for the Under-19 competition, produced a stunning performance in the second-half of the race to overcome the gun Northcliffe contingent of Hancock, Brown and Bonnie Hancock.

Find more information about the DHL 2011 Aussies here.