Cameron Brown turned back the clock 20 years after winning his first triathlon in senior company to again claim the Whangamata round of the national tri series today.

The 38-year-old ironman legend held off the younger brigade, his winning time of one hour 53 minutes 23 seconds for the 1500m swim, 40km bike and 10km run leaving him more than 2min ahead of his nearest pursuer, Edward Rawles, of Taranaki.

The women's race produced an upset as Waikato's Rebecca Kingsford turned the tables on Jo Lawn, a seven-time New Zealand ironman champion.

Brown was delighted with his effort, which prompted memories of 1992 when he beat his hero Rick Wells at the same venue.

"I just love racing here and a week ago I wasn't going to but I just had to get out in what is a great atmosphere and a great course," Brown said.

"It was far from easy though with Ed riding superbly and keeping the pressure on throughout. It was only in the closing kilometres when I could relax and button off."

Former Commonwealth Games swimmer Brent Foster led out of the water in relatively calm conditions, joined at the hip by Rawles, with Brown among a chase group 90sec back.

Foster was quickly overtaken by Rawles on the bike leg and eventually also by Brown, but it wasn't until the 30km mark that Brown went past Rawles before taking control of the race.

Brad Aldridge, of Auckland, finished strongly to claim third place.

The women's race was a fascinating duel between Kingsford, Lawn, Teresa Adam and Maddy Brunton.

Adam led out of the water but started to struggle after one of three laps on the bike as Kingsford and Lawn taking over.

Lawn was inconvenienced by a blister on her foot but there was no denying the breakthrough performance from Kingsford, who posted a fine time of 2hr 06min 14sec to head off her senior rival by 2min 15sec.

Leading results (1500m swim, 40km bike, 10km run):-

Elite men: Cameron Brown (Auckland) 1hr 53min 23sec 1, Edward Rawles (Inglewood) 1:55.46 2, Brad Aldrich (Auckland) 1:58.56 3, Owen Miller (Tauranga) 1:59.21 4, Bruce Hunter (Auckland) 2:00.25 5.

Elite women: Rebecca Kingsford (Tirau) 2:06.14 1, Jo Lawn (Auckland), 2:08.29 2, Maddy Brunton (Waikato) 2:12.08 3, Sophie Corbidge (Auckland) 2:15.54 4, Tanya Dromgool (Queenstown) 2:16.26 5.