Ironman: Kiwi favourite Braden Currie relishes Cairns heat in build-up to Kona world championships

With less that 12 hours until the start, Cairns Ironman preparations are in full swing, but for Kiwi pro and hot favourite Braden Currie, this is about more than just pre-race rituals.

The race is a family affair for the Curries. Daughter Bella was the first out on course this morning, competing in the kids event.

"She was more nervous than I was for the world championships start-line, so I had to calm her down a bit," said Braden. "Nah, she did good."

The nerves are not quite as intense for Currie, who's fresh off winning bronze at the Ironman world champs in Utah last month.

"It gives you confidence to know you're in good form on a global stage, and as long as I stick to my numbers and race my plan, things should go pretty well."

But it certainly won't be easy, with a strong field of Aussies out to stop the Kiwi from flying too far out in front.

"Well, they've locked us out of their country for the last two years, so it's been an easy win," he laughed. "There's Sam Appleton, Max Newman and those guys, and they're all great swimmers, so fingers crossed, I'll be there with those guys."

Racing in tropical far north Queensland's the ideal preparation for the world champs later in the year on the notorious lava fields of Hawaii. 

"Good thing about this event is the heat and humidity, similar to Kona, so it is a great opportunity race in this hot, humid and even windy environment." 

Conditions shouldn't be too harsh on Sunday, with light winds and a high of 26 degrees celsius, and the leaders expected to cross the finish-line here just before 6pm (NZ time).