Harriet Brown has heaped praise on two-time Olympic kayaker and former Surf Sports queen Naomi Flood for “firing her up” in the lead up to her first Nutri-Grain IronWoman Series win at North Cronulla today.
The 26-year-old proud Victorian, who grew up in the Ocean Grove Nippers moved to the Northcliffe Club on the Gold Coast some five years ago to pursue her ironwoman dreams.
But it wasn’t until Flood was appointed the club’s head women’s coach last season that everything finally clicked.
“I always train hard and give it my all but with Floody coming on board it has been a good change,” said Brown, who also won the World title last September.
“She fires me and makes me belief that ‘you can do this.”
“And having five girls at Northcliffe in the Series has been so much fun; we train together, it’s competitive but it works, we encourage each other, warm up together, cool down and take ice baths together and racing together after all that we get to go away together and race in front of my family and friends.”
“I was determined to enjoy the journey rather than be so focused on winning and then be disappointed if I didn’t go well.”
Brown went into the final Eliminator Round leading three-times Series winner and Northcliffe team mate Courtney Hancock by four points and it came down to a title race in two.
Although youngsters 17-year-old Manly schoolgirl Naomi Scott and Northcliffe’s outstanding New Zealander Danielle McKenzie were not going to lie down as they chased their first Series race win.
It was the outstanding swimming skills of Scott and Hancock’s grit front-running determination that looked sure to provide Hancock with a pathway to a thrilling finish after Brown dropped to fourth and seemingly out of contention.
But as Scott, McKenzie and Hancock all paddled their boards towards the shore, a slight stumble by Hancock saw Scott get to her feet first and win final race from McKenzie with Hancock – and in the end Brown’s fourth gave her a two point win in the overall standings and her first Series win at 26.
2017 Nutri-Grain IronWoman Finals Series overall placings:
1. Harriet Brown; 2. Courtney Hancock; 3. Karlee Nurthen; 4. Maddy Dunn; 5. Georgia Miller; 6. Rebecca Creedy; 7. Emma Dick; 8. Naomi Scott; 9. Danielle McKenzie; 10. Jemma Smith; 11. Amy Nurthen; 12. Lizzie Welborn; 13. Tara Coleman; 14. Kristyl Smith; 15. Kirsty Higginson; 16. Maddie Spencer; 17. Taylar Puskaric; 18. Brielle Cooper; 19. Allie Britton; 20. Ella Brown.