Multisport: Kiwi Braden Currie eyes repeat of Ironman Cairns heroics to get 'tough' year back on track

He's described it as the toughest year of his career to date, but on Sunday that could all change for Ironman athlete Braden Currie.

Forced to pull out of Ironman New Zealand and the world championships in Kona, he's eyeing up Ironman Cairns to turn his luck around at a course he's had plenty of success. 

"Happy hunting ground for me," Currie told Newshub. "I think a third first time, three wins and a second over the years."

Currie hopes a return to the Queensland hot spot can help put him back in the winners circle after a year to forget, with illness forcing him to withdraw from two of his target races.

"They were both sickness, so there's not a lot you can do to change that." 

Those disappointments compounded at his last event in Texas, where he failed to finish.

"I maybe pushed the boundaries a bit too much and it didn't unfold too well," Currie admitted. 

Twelve months ago, it was a much different story, with Currie setting a new course record in Cairns.

"It's been a pretty rough year but last year was probably the best race I've ever had in my career."

Repeating that wont come easy though. Now part of the Ironman pro series, this year's event has attracted its strongest field yet.

Amongst that field is fellow Kiwi Mike Phillips.

"I think there's plenty of guys that are on a similar level," Phillips told Newshub. "Probably five or six guys, which hasn't always been the case.  

"In the past, there's just been a couple."

It's much the same for the women, with Hannah Berry flying the flag as the top seeded New Zealander.

"I haven't been to this race before so it's all a little new to me," Berry said. "But we love racing over here in Aussie."