It was the second consecutive win for Henderson, 20, who also won the title in 2019. The 2020 event was cancelled due to COVID-19.
“It was really nice out there, the waves died down and it was a beautiful day for it,” said the Berwick-based Henderson, who earlier in the day finished second in the 3.6km event.
Earlier in the year, Henderson wore the green and gold while competing in the 20km road walk in Tokyo.
“I like to do a bit of everything and obviously race walking I’m training for a lot at the moment, but I was doing triathlon a few years ago and open water swimming and I’ll come back to racing that competitively at some point. But at the moment, whenever I can, I just try to get in the water because I love it, it’s so much fun.”
After threatening over recent years, Matt Gilling finally secured a win in the Men’s Open event, defeating multi-race winner Sam Sheppard, who finished second.
“It’s always good to get one back on Sam because he’s definitely got me plenty more than I’ve got him,” he said.
Originally from Ocean Grove, Billings now lives and trains on the Gold Coast.
“I’ve transitioned from a pool swimmer into a surf ironman, which is what I do now… obviously being from down here I still come home for Christmas and I try to do as many swims as I can.
The event attracted around 900 swimmers, despite COVID and the event being held mid week.
“We did in fact have the highest number of pre-registrations we’ve every had but I think some of those factors were at play and kept some away on the day,” said Point Lonsdale Surf Life Saving Club president Charlie Pitney.
"It’s actually been really challenging to host the event this time and we were really lucky to get some new sponsors come on board,” he said.