New path opens to series
NUTRI-Grain ironman and ironwoman series spots will be on the line at this year's Australian Surf Life Saving Championships on the Gold Coast.
The top 10 competitors from the men's and women's series - which will wrap up at Noosa on Sunday - earn automatic qualification for the 40-strong field of next year's editions.
However, it has also been announced that a berth in both the men's and women's series will be up for grabs in the ironman and ironwoman races at the Australian championships, to be held on the Gold Coast from March 26-April 1.
Of the athletes who have not already qualified for the 2012-13 series, the highest placed male and female competitors will take the berths, enabling them to bypass the series trials. It has also been announced that the trials for next year's series will be held in Sydney in either August or September.
It was rumoured that they would be held in winter shortly after the nationals, but organisers decided against it after consulting with coaches and athletes.