MOOLOOLABA journeyman Cameron Cole has done a "Bradbury" by coming from last to win the national ironman title - and he can thank a "one in a million" wave.
In what is being described as the biggest upset in ironman history, Cole was last in the final board leg when he caught a wave 30m from the beach at North Kirra yesterday afternoon.
The wave carried almost the entire field to the beach, with Cole the first to his feet.
In a sprint finish, the 25-year-old edged out another unheralded competitor, Northcliffe's Tanyn Lyndon.
Cole, who had not won a major ironman race before yesterday, admitted he was in "shock" when he emerged from the water with no one ahead of him.
He thought: "What's going on? It's not right."
The quantity surveyor added: "Crossing the line, it took a while to comprehend what had happened. It was completely unexpected."
Cole, whose previous best result in a national ironman final was an eighth place last year, described the victory wave as "one in a million".
"In the way in I was just seeing no one get a wave," he said.
"They were in front of me (about 25-30m) and had paddled about 100m from the last can.
"I thought, there's got to be a wave soon ... I looked behind and there was one. Very lucky."
Completing the surprises, unfancied Currumbin competitor Jackson Maynard came third.
Cole upstaged his more fancied Mooloolaba teammates Ali Day and Kendrick Louis in the final.
His win also prevented Northcliffe great Shannon Eckstein from capturing a third successive ironman crown and equalling Trevor Hendy's record of six titles.
Earlier in the event, Cole won board gold with Louis and Matt Bevilacqua.
Cole's coach Michael King described his charge's victory as "absolutely amazing".
"Probably over the years he's had a bit of bad luck in a lot of races," he said.
"It's really good to see him turn it around and have a win."
In the ironwoman final, Met Caloundra's defending champion Rebecca Creedy finished second behind reigning Telstra Series champion Courtney Hancock of Northcliffe.
Northcliffe's Harriet Brown came third.
The trio was on the same wave approaching the beach on the final board leg.
Creedy said: "I definitely haven't been focusing on ironwoman training the last few week, to be honest.
"To come away with a result like that makes me really happy."
Creedy, a world championship and Commonwealth Games pool relay medallist, will now resume training for this month's national swimming championships in Adelaide.
In other results yesterday, world junior championships-bound kayaker Bill Bain added the open men's double ski title to his under-19 double ski victory from Saturday.
The Mooloolaba teenager teamed with Nicholas Bolton to beat a hot field.
In second place was Northcliffe's London Olympics K4 1000 gold medallists Tate Smith and Murray Stewart.
Mooloolaba struck more gold when Karlee Nurthern won the under-17 ironwoman finals. Mooloolaba also won the open women's surf boat final.
Maroochydore's Ellen Masters won the under-15 ironwoman finals while Lana Rogers won the under-17 girl's surf race.
Their clubmate, Scott Pegg, won the under-17 boy's surf race.
Alexandra Headland triumphed in the under-17 boy's and under-17 girl's board finals through Jake Kleinschmidt and Alyssa Bull.
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