White happy with sixth place behind Eckstein
A CONFIDENT Hayden White believes he is ready to shake off his disappointing rookie Kellogg's Nutri-Grain Ironman Series after finishing sixth in yesterday's Australian Ironman Championships.
White was the first of the Sunshine Coast contingent to cross the line, finishing ahead of clubmates Matt Poole and Matt Bevilacqua in front of a packed Scarborough beach crowd in Western Australia.
The 24-year-old believes the performance can be a building block leading into his first offseason as an Ironman professional.
"I was a bit disappointed with my series campaign, it didn't go as well as I'd hoped," he said.
"My goal here was to just make the final and to get in there this morning ahead of guys like Tanyn Lyndon and Ky Hurst was unreal.
"I was ready to finish there, but I had to get up and go again and I was happy to be in contention with the top guys."
Coach Michael King believes White will improve after finishing 15th in his rookie year.
"He had a lot of injuries along the way and it probably ruined his confidence," King said.
"But to make his first Australian Ironman Championships and to finish sixth is just awesome and he'll gain a lot from that."
King coaches fellow finalists Matt Poole and Matt Bevilacqua, who finished the final in seventh and eight place respectively.
Rising Noosa Heads talent McKenzie Hynard also made the final, finishing in 13th place.
King said all three would benefit from racing against Shannon Eckstein, who equalled Trevor Hendy's record with a sixth win.
"He's raising the bar all the time," King said.
"People come at him and he keeps racing away and I think it's a good learning curve for everybody, that you've just got to keep working hard and keep being consistent."
- TOP FIVE
1. Shannon Eckstein
2. Caine Eckstein
3. Dane Farrell
4. Nathan Smith
5. Kendrick Louis