FORMER Kiama Surf Life Saving Club member Max Beattie capped a magnificent summer by winning the open ironman title at the State New Zealand Surf Lifesaving Championships in Mount Maunganui.
After leaving Kiama several years ago, his family settled in Queensland and Beattie is now living on the Gold Coast. He decided to compete for New Zealand in his chosen sport via his mother Mary-Ellen's Kiwi heritage.
The 21-year-old Omanu Club member started his season in November by helping New Zealand win the Rescue 2012 world title in Adelaide, which included finishing second to the great Shannon Eckstein in the ironman.
On Sunday, he backed up that brilliance by successfully defending the national title he won for the first time in Gisborne last year.
Beattie is close friends with Australian ironman Ali Day from the time they both represented Kiama.
"The second one is definitely sweeter," Beattie said.
"There was a lot of talk that I wouldn't be able to do it again because the race went so perfectly for me last year and I had a big target on my back this year, but today I just went out and took the bull by the horns.
"You can fluke one win but you can't fluke a second."