Ky Hurst - Ironman Champion, Multiple Olympic swim teams, Professional sailor
Updated: Nov 10
Ky Hurst - Ironman Champion, Multiple Olympic swim teams, Professional sailor
Episode 45 Ky Hurst - Ironman Champion, Multiple Olympic's swim teams, Professional sailor
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Show notes (please see Timestamps below for more detail)
In this episode of The Greg Bennett Show, Greg Bennett chats with Ky Hurst. Ky is one of the greatest endurance athletes the world has ever seen. For 24 years he has competed as a professional athlete across three sports. He stormed onto the Australian sporting scene as a teenager winning his first of four Ironman Superseries titles at the age of 17. He went on to win Seven Australian IronMan titles, and 30 Australian Surf titles, he was inducted into the Surf Life Saving Hall of Fame and is known as one of Surf Lifesaving's greatest ever all-round competitors. He went on to represent Australia at the 2008 Beijing Olympics & 2012 London Olympics in the 10km open water swim. He was 2nd at the 1998 & 2011 World Championships for his 5km open water swim. He won ten Open Men's Surf title’s from eleven starts, solidifying in many experts mind that he is the greatest surf swimmer the world has ever seen. In recent years he has transitioned to his 3rd professional sport, sailing, competing for Oracle Team USA at last America’s Cup. He’s now a member of the Australian SailGP team who in 2019 won the inaugural season and the $1 million winner-takes-all championships. In this episode, Ky discusses his involvement in the professional Sailgp series and what it's like being in a team sport after 20 years of racing as an individual. Ky discusses his early years and the influence of his entire extended family with water sports. He shares his journey and his process from Surf Ironman to Olympic swimmer and professional sailor. His physical and mental preparation is remarkable, and Ky shares some of his epic workouts in the pool. Finally, Ky discusses his interest in the sport of Triathlon and how he hopes to do his first Ironman 70.3 in 2021.
Fun Fact: Ky Hurst has a lung capacity of 10.2 Litres, the average man has 6 liters.
Incredible insights and remarkable stories. See the timestamps below for more detail.
0.0 - Introduction to show
1.55 - Sponsors
5.27 - Start to show – Introduction
6.45 - General chit-chat - Photoshoots in the late 90s
7.50 - Sail GP - Foiling in Catamarans - 6 teams - traveling the world and competing - "The best race for us is we never touch a hull, we keep on the foils" - Nose diving at 45 knots (90kph) to zero in a few seconds, the crash - dropping boards at angular feeds - Grinders trim the wings (sails) - microbursts - The crew, Olympic and world champions Sam Newton - Tom Slingsby, Jason Waterhouse (only see's under the boat) -
18.00 - Transitioning from singular sport to team - Americas Cup - moving to Bermuda
19.50 - Winding the clock back - Family background in surf and swimming - "I could read the ocean at a really young age and I enjoyed hard work, I had a great work ethic" - "I love training, I love the ocean, I love water" - Grew up Central Coast - Triathlete Melanie Mitchell, Nicole Hackett - Moved to Gold coast for the warmer water - "Grommit" is an Australian surf kid
24.30 - Recognizing strength with swimming and surf Ironman - at age 11 - by age 14 was trialing for the Australian professional Ironman series and came 16th and they took top 15 - Was happy to miss series due to the race in Uncle Toby's Piha in New Zealand 95/96 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=alC2vKv94GU - 30-foot face "Like a telegraph pole" - Ky qualified the following year at 15 and won the trials - Finished 9th in his the first year - then won the following year - Win the series as a 17-year-old in 98/99
30.00 - The 98/99 Uncle Toby's super series - Ky won the series at 17 and brought the next level of professionalism - Ky went on to win three straight "we were grounded, we grew up with nothing and worked hard for everything that was put on the table" - Ky was swimming as well and competed against Keiren Perkins, Glen Housman, Daniel Kawasaki and trained and competed with Grant Hackett, the very best endurance swimmers in the world and then Ian Thorpe - the level of professionalism was incredibly high - "I had to grow up fast"
34.40 - Swimming - 1st Olympic trials in 1996 in the 1500m "I had a burning desire, I wanted to represent Australia at an Olympic games" - "the surf stuff had a real hold on me and it was hard to let it go" - 2000 trials Ky finished 5th, 2004 trials came 3rd and missed the team by one spot behind Grant Hackett and Craig Stevens, It was announced that in 2008 there would be an open water event - A year out Ky left Dennis Cottrel and trained with Tracy Menzies in Sydney - Ky went top 2 at Australian Championships and had to go top 10 at World Championships - there were 80 swimmers and Ky got smashed at 2.5km - Ky finished 5th - "I felt so good at those Olympics, I was swimming exceptionally well, but went too hard too early" - "I remember getting out after the race and thinking, I am never going to swim this far again... fast forward 4 years and there I was again" - Rio was going to be a beach start and beach finish and ocean swim, it was hard for Ky to miss that Olympics but the opportunity came for the Americas Cup with team Oracle USA - Ky moved to Bermuda - Tyler Butterfield Ironman champion
44.10 - Bermuda - Flora Duffy
45.00 - Finding America's Cup - Ky had always been a sailor - Reached out to Tom Slingsby - Tom is a great leader "he fires up at the right time" - "We just gel" - "He's a born a bred racer"
48.00 - The Sail GP - the season and the grand final - Team Australia entered early and was penalized and had to be the trailing boat - Racing team Japan - Team Australia came from behind and won the million dollars - There are 18 members on the team - The shore crew and the boat crew
52.50 - Physical training - The comparison of three sports - "the 10km was just a slugfest" - "The Ironman stuff was always transition... my swimming gave me my fitness" - "The grinding had to change to more endurance" - 12 months ago Ky decided to race Triathlon - Running for the first time off the bike - Ky is looking for an IM 70.3 in March in 2021 - Running with Matt Poole and Pierce Lenard
1.02.10 - Epic workout (50m long course pool) 10 x400m - 2 x (3 on 4.30 and 2 on 4.20) another workout was 50 x100m leaving on 1.10 min for 40 and leaving on 1.05 for 10, holding all of them under 1.02 minutes - Greg trained with Craig Riddington - how to swim underwater in the surf "utilize the bottom as much as you can" - Butterfly kick
1.05.30 - Triathlon training - Ky swims once a week but can swim 400s all day leaving on the 5minutes - "But man running hurts so much" - Ky has to be 91kg for the boat "weight is our friend on the boat but in running weight is not good"
1.08.40 - The next generation of Triathlon is so fast - "My desire with Triathlon is longevity and goals... It's such a great community" "It's about the people and the process and the racing"
1.10.40 - Mental strategies - staying grounded "I have a good Mum and an amazing family and I never grew up with much" - "I'm trying to give back, sport has given me so much" - Confidence "It comes from hard work and look at your blocks of work" - "Nerves are a good thing because you know you've done the work" - "I always look back before the race and look at the 16 weeks prior" - Visualizing - "Look at the goal and step back" "It's constantly in my head" - "No matter what sport you're in you gotta have goals"
1.18.30 - Nutrition - Keeping weight on for sailing - Ky tried the Carnivore diet but burnt himself out and it wasn't sustainable - Dr. Ara Suppiah
1.23.20 - Conclusion - Sail GP in 2021 - San Francisco in April, New York, UK, Copenhagen, the final rounds are still in the work - What happens between races? Ky's excited about his first Triathlon - The focus is on the IM 70.3 - Tweed Enduro in March 2021 - Greg visualized Ky Hurst for his swimming - Ky has two kids 3 and 8 - Ky Hurst's lung liter was 10.2 liter a normal man is 6 liters
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