Surf Life Saving New Zealand have taken the first step in defending their Rescue 2012 world title by reappointing successful coaches Scott Bartlett and Jason Pocock.
New Zealand won the title in Adelaide in November, ending a 14-year drought since their last success and breaking Australia's stranglehold on the title.
One of the keys to that success was the meticulous preparation and planning by Omanu's Bartlett - who was assistant coach in 2006 and 2008 and head coach in 2010 - and Mairangi Bay's Pocock.
"Having Scott and Jason back in charge is a huge step for us in retaining the title," SLSNZ high performance manager Brad Edwards explained. "It gives us that consistency and immediate access to their pool of knowledge and they've already come up with some fresh thinking on how to approach the next 18 months of preparation."
Their first assignment will be helping select a team to compete in the International Surf Rescue Challenge in Japan this September, using next week's State New Zealand Surf Life Saving championships in Mount Maunganui as a valuable gauge of athlete form.
"Our buildup to the next world championships starts now - Australia have been stung by our win last year and will be desperate to get the title back but we're just as keen to relive that amazing feeling the team experienced last year," Bartlett said.
SLSNZ also advertised the New Zealand development coaching roles and received a number of outstanding applications, with an appointment hoping to be announced at next week's national championships