KIAMA ironman Ali Day says messy, windswept conditions and rough swell for today's sprint eliminator round of the ironman series in Newcastle will see big guns Zane Holmes and Shannon Eckstein return to the winner's circle.
Day, who sits third on the points table behind training partner Kendrick Louis and former champion Ky Hurst, says the five 14-minute races - within 10 minutes of one another - will favour the larger, more powerful contestants given fatigue won't play as big a factor at an endurance event.
But the cult figure from the south coast is no stranger to unwelcoming conditions, so don't be surprised to see him figure in the standings.
''The swell is supposed to be picking up in the morning and there's a little bank out there plus Zane Holmes says it's supposed to be raining, so it's going to throw up some challenges,'' said Day, who relocated to Mooloolaba in the off-season to train all year round.
''I don't mind racing in the messy conditions. Growing up on the south coast, a lot of our sessions were in those windy and horrible conditions and I'm used to it so I think it's good. It's just after the race it's no fun when you get a bit cold,'' he adds with a chuckle.
But he expects the biggest challenge to come from veteran ironmen Holmes and Eckstein, who have so far crept under the radar.