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Taylor lifts his sights

Gisborne's Cory Taylor will take his place again in the starting line-up in the Nutri-Grain men's ironman championship in northern New South Wales in just over two weeks.

The current New Zealand ironman champion qualified automatically for this summer's championship after a top-10 finish last season.

He will be joined in the series by his Dawson Building Midway clubmate Olivia Corrin, who at the weekend qualified again for the women's event.

“It was awesome for Olivia to qualify again,” Taylor said.

“I was down there handling the craft and she raced well all weekend.”

Taylor and Corrin both also compete for Gold Coast club Northcliffe.

Corrin has been over there all winter, but for Taylor it was a different story.

“The winter has been a crazy experience for all athletes in all codes, I think, due to Covid-19,” he said.

“After the New Zealand nationals I decided to stay in Gisborne because the rest of our racing for the season in Australia got cancelled.

“I worked for my dad's business, CR Taylor Gisborne Ltd, for much of the winter instead, which was a refreshing break from the long season.”

He returned to Australia at the end of July and did the required quarantine, which he said was an experience in itself.

“Luckily the Gold Coast has been pretty much fully operational since the beginning of Covid, so we were not restricted in our training, and it's been going well.”

A normal week of training for him involves roughly 18 sessions a week made up of four swims, four sessions in the gym, two on the board, three on the ski, two ironman sessions and three runs.

“So I have very busy weeks as an ironman over here but I wouldn't change it for anything.

“I love what I do and can see myself doing it for many years to come,” the 27-year-old said.

Cory has recovered from a “tweaked” back, and three weeks on he remains unaffected.

“I've been putting some solid weeks of work in so I'm excited to race this month to see how I'm tracking.”

The first rounds of the Nutri-Grain series this summer will be on December 19 and 20 at Kingscliff in northern NSW.

Taylor's big weapon in the ironman remains the ski, but as the world board race champion he's strong in that leg, too.

“My swim is something I've been working on, and in the current climate of the series the swim is arguably the most important leg.

“The athletes in the series are phenomenal over all disciplines. You really have to be world class in all three to achieve success in ironman racing. So my swim is something I'm always trying to improve on.

“Being a well-rounded athlete is the goal for all ironmen, I believe.”

Taylor finished eighth overall in the series last summer and won one of the rounds at Surfers Paradise.

“Getting the win at Surfers for the second year in a row was awesome.

“No New Zealand surf athlete had achieved two top podium finishes in the Nutri-Grain Series so it was cool to be the first and stamp that into New Zealand surf lifesaving history books.

“This year I would love to attain a top-five finish. That's my goal.”

Taylor enjoys life in Australia.

“I cannot complain about life here on the Gold Coast. It's becoming very hot here, so summer's definitely on the way.”

Taylor recently completed his finance degree from Massey University.

“I am looking at completing a Master of Finance degree at Bond University on the Gold Coast next year, which is exciting.

“It's disappointing that I won't be able to come home for Christmas due to the border situation, but I'm hoping by the New Zealand nationals in March the border will be open, so I can come back and race for Midway.”

IRONMAN TIME: Midway's Cory Taylor has been putting in the hard yards ahead of the start of the Nutri-Grain Men's Ironman series in Australia this summer. He is aiming for a top-five finish this season. He won the Surfers Paradise round of the series last summer (see following picture in this gallery). Pictures supplied
Cory Taylor