Dougherty delays final decision on ironman future
HE may not have finished the day as stage winner, but Hugh Dougherty yesterday did his hometown of Yamba proud.
In what may possibly be his last appearance in the Nutri Grain Surf Ironman Series, Dougherty was eliminated in the penultimate race of the day.
Dougherty gave it his all, battling through what was probably the worst conditions of the series as Noosa recovered from last week's storms.
"The day wasn't too bad but the water wasn't the best," Dougherty said.
"It was really flat and just brown."
Speculation has raged over Dougherty's future in the sport after he indicated late last year that it may be his final season.
Since making that statement four months ago, Dougherty is yet to make a final decision on his future and won't until the start of the next season.
"I will make a decision on it closer to the end of the year," Dougherty said.
"I finished in the top 10 so that qualifies me for next year's series so I will keep training and make a decision close to then."
A veteran of seven campaigns, Dougherty started the Noosa stage like he has every other.
He refused to let a heavily-strapped shoulder get in the way of his day, starting off with a third in the first of five races.
Dougherty said he felt good about the first two races but the third was disappointing.
"I felt pretty good in the beginning and had a bit of control over it," he said.
"The third one just, I don't know what happened there I just didn't put it together."
His focus will now shift towards the state ironman titles in March and the nationals in April.
It ended up being a similar story for Yamba's Alyce Bennett who was eliminated in the second race of the Ironwoman Series.
Bennett remained mid-pack for most of the race, before finishing ninth.
Sixteen-year-old Alyssa Bull won the final stage, handing Sawtell-born Courtney Hancock the series victory.