KIAMA’S Ali Day has fallen agonisingly short of a Nutri-Grain Ironman Series crown on a thrilling final day of racing at North Cronulla Beach on Sunday.
The incumbent series leader, Day was one of three men capable of claiming the overall along with Kurrawa’s Matt Bevilacqua and Mermain Beach’s James Lacy.
Racing under the Eliminator format, Day finished fourth in race one while Lacy gave himself his best shot at series victory finishing top two along with Newport’s Max Brooks.
It gave the pair direct passage to the final with the rest of the field forced to fight it out in race two.
Day was second across the line in the second race behind Surfer’s Paradise clubmate and former Warilla-Barrack Point star Max Beattie on the back of an outstanding swim leg.
After hovering on the edge of the elimination “red-zone” for much of the race, Bevilacqua made a late run in the final ski leg to force his way into the final.
The decider developed into a thriller with Day and Bevilacqua neck and neck at the turn of the final board leg and setting off on different paths to the beach.
The fresher Brooks managed to pull away to claim the race, with Bevilacqua finishing second ahead of Day, claiming the series by a single spot.
“It’s a hard thing to swallow right now but it is what it is,” a shattered Day said in aftermath.
“I’ve had an amazing series, I put my best foot forward the whole time and there’s not much more I could’ve done today.
“I’m still really proud of the way I raced, I’m really proud of the person I am and at the end of the day it’s not that bad.
“I’ll have another moment for sure. I wish I could have that moment back again but full credit to Bevi, full credit to James Lacy and all the guys who raced well today.”