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The Nutri-Grain Iron Series has been considered the pinnacle of Surf Life Saving competition for over 30 years and on the weekend six NSW Ironmen and Ironwomen qualified to join the 2020/21 Series in the footsteps of their childhood heroes.

Close to 100 athletes made their way to Kingscliff Beach for the two-day qualifying event consisting of six gruelling long, short and M-shaped races with a progressive point-score.

The top eight male and female athletes have now secured their places for the six-round series beginning 19-20 December at Kingscliff Beach to be live broadcast on Channel 9 from 12-2pm.

Surf Life Saving NSW congratulates Daniel Collins (Redhead), Zach Morris (Newport), Naomi Scott (Manly), Emily Doyle (Newport), Maddie Spencer (Newport) and Carla Papac (Wanda) on their qualification.

Out of the 40 athletes in this season’s series, NSW has 10 representatives, with six from Newport SLSC on Sydney’s Northern Beaches.

Emily Doyle (19) and Zach Morris (18) both stepped in as injury wildcards for the final round last season giving them a taste for the elite series. The two Newport young guns have now officially booked their place in the series.

Doyle who has already had an incredible year winning a record-breaking 11 NSW Titles, put in the hard yards despite the disruption to training and competition due to COVID-19. One of six kids and training to be a nurse, Doyle will now put her foot down to perform alongside the pros.

“I’m super happy to have qualified for this year’s series,” said Doyle. “I have been working so hard for so long and I can’t wait to share it with all the girls at this level. It’s going to be great experience.”

She also credited Newport’s success to the development and support of the Newport Kinghorn Racing Academy. The 19-year-old’s aim for her debut season is consistency across every round.

Dan Collins (24) from Redhead has re-qualified for his third season and admitted his dream since starting as a five-year-old Nipper was to be on a cereal box, so was stoked to be back to give the title and $10,000 prize purse another crack.

“You never take being part of the professional series for granted, so I’m really happy to re-qualify,” said Collins. “It was great to have Ali Day back on the weekend showing us the level we need to be at for the series. I’ll be back to the drawing board for the next couple of weeks ready for round one.”

Carla Papac (22) from Wanda will also make her debut this season joining Jay Furniss in representing the Bate Bay clubs.

Papac who is coached by former Nutri-Grain Ironman and Australian Champion Nathan Smith said she couldn’t be happier about the result on the weekend. “I’m looking ahead now and can’t wait to prepare for each round,” she said. “After missing out last season I knew the format and just kept pushing hard to get through each race and not give up any positions because every point counts.”

And 2018 NSW Athlete of the Year Naomi Scott (20) will make her return to the series after being forced out last season due to injury after two rounds. Scott narrowly missed out on the NSW Open Ironwoman title on the line this year but looked stronger than ever on the weekend finishing as the top female qualifier overall. 

Series veteran and 2019/20 podium finisher Lizzie Welborn (Newport) welcomes the new qualifiers and is particularly proud of the ever-expanding Newport representation at the elite level. "It's pretty amazing having so many of our Newport team joining the series," said Welborn today. "It really reflects the hard work we’ve all been putting in. We all worked really well as a team and now it's showing in a big way. I can’t wait to start the journey with all the crew in a couple of weeks."

The six NSW qualifiers will join reigning Ironman series winner Kendrick Louis along with Jackson Borg, Jay Furniss and Ironwomen Lizzie Welborn and Jemma Smith who all captain teams in the Envirobank Super Teams Series wrapping up this Saturday 5 December at Umina Beach.


  • Kendrick Louis, Manly

  • Jackson Borg, Newport

  • Jay Furniss, Cronulla

  • Daniel Collins, Redhead

  • Zach Morris, Newport

  • Lizzie Welborn, Newport

  • Jemma Smith, Newport

  • Naomi Scott, Manly

  • Emily Doyle, Newport

  • Maddie Spencer, Newport

  • Carla Papac, Wanda


  1. Qualification Round – 28-29 November 2020 – Kingscliff, NSW

  2. Round 1-2 – Nutri-Grain Series – 19-20 December 2020 – Kingscliff, NSW

  3. Round 3-4 – Nutri-Grain Series – 16-17 January 2021 – North Cronulla, NSW

  4. Round 5-6 (FINAL) – Nutri-Grain Series – 13-14 February 2021 – Kurrawa, QLD

All rounds of the 2020/21 Nutri-Grain IronMan and IronWoman Series will be broadcast LIVE on Channel 9 from 12pm-2pm (AEDT).

There is a total of $200,000 on offer for athletes, with both men and women offered an equal $100,000 prize money across the 2020/21 Nutri-Grain Series.

In conjunction with the Nutri-Grain IronMan and IronWoman Series, Surf Life Saving Australia will also run the inaugural Nutri-Grain Next-Gen Series for males and females aged U17 and U19 as a curtain raiser event. To register for this event, please click here.

For further information on the Nutri-Grain Iron Series, please visit


Monday 30 November 2020