Sunshine Coast ironman Ali Day has coped with the pressure of being overwhelming favourite to win Sunday's Coolangatta Gold in his first attempt at the iconic event.
Day was a comfortable winner in the 45km surf ironman event, leading at virtually every transition to take out the title in three hours, 47 minutes and 25 seconds from Mooloolaba clubmates Alex Tibbits and Josh Minogue.
The women's race also has a first-time champion after Brodie Moir blitzed defending champion Courtney Hancock in the final 8.6km run leg of the 32km event to claim victory in her second attempt at the race.
Hancock came in second, her third runner-up finish in the event, with younger sister Bonnie wrapping up the top three.
Day, who made his name during last summer's professional Ironman series, joins an honour roll including five-time champion Caine Eckstein, Guy Leech and Zane Holmes.
The 22-year-old could barely express his delight at the first major win of his career but said it had been tough dealing with the expectations of being the race favourite.
"I'll never forget this day in my life," Day said.
"It's something I've always dreamed of and to finally do it, to finally win something, I've never won anything this big in my life.
"It's hard coming into a race that you've never done before, it's a new course ... it is hard having all that expectation on you, I just had to take it in my stride and I did today. Everything just worked perfectly."
While Day's win was relatively comfortable, Moir came out on top in a nailbiting women's race, winning in 2:58.13, just 38 seconds ahead of Courtney Hancock.
She and the two Hancocks were separated by just four seconds going into the final run leg but Moir said she was confident she had the legs to outpace her rivals.
"Not to brag but the race wasn't too bad," the 26-year-old North Burleigh SLSC member said.
"I knew it would come down to a run, it did and I just knew where to have a sprint from and that's where I went and she just didn't go with me.
"I was stoked, was lucky."
Neither racer would commit to defending their titles, with Day just content to dwell on his victory and Moir set to start a teaching career next year.
"I don't know what's in the works for me," Moir said.
"I'll leave it up in the air."