Hamish Miller finally broke through for victory in New Zealand's premier long distance surf lifesaving race today, winning the Mount Monster event in Mount Maunganui.
The 19-year-old eased home in two hours 20 minutes and 36 seconds, held over 25km and four legs along the Bay of Plenty coastline.
Miller led from the start after setting a cracking pace in the opening 5km run and 1500m swim legs, carefully nursed his lead in the 12km ski paddle and then pulled away further in the final 6km board leg with the second-fastest time.
"I've had a few fourths and I've always seemed to be 20-30secs off the pace in previous years so to finally come away with a win on my home beach is pretty special," said Miller.
"It was always going to be a bloody hard race but my tactic was to try and push the run - that's one of my strong legs.
"I needed a gap on the ski and the plan was to take a lead into the board, so I was pretty stoked how it worked out."