Injury has ruled Natasha Hind out of the 2013 International Surf Rescue Challenge (ISRC) in Japan later this month, creating a last minute change to the team line-up.
The Lyall Bay Surf Life Saving Club member has had to withdrawal from the ISRC due complications with her shoulder. She will be replaced by Piha Surf Life Saving Club member Kirsty Wannan.
New Zealand team coach Scott Bartlett says it's disappointing that Natasha won't be able to compete. "But it's important to focus on her long-term career and make sure she looks after her shoulder and gives it time to heal. We are excited to have Kirsty on board and I know she will be an excellent addition to our team," he says.
The team of 12 athletes leave for Japan on Monday September 16.
The line-up (announced on July 5) features New Zealand Iron Man champion Max Beattie and two 2012 Olympians including gold medallist kayaker Lisa Carrington and swimmer Andy McMillan.
McMillan and Beattie were also part of the Black Fins team who claimed the world life saving crown at Rescue 2012 in November last year.
Three other Black Fins team mates join them in the team. They are world ski champion Devon Halligan, world beach flags champion Chanel Hickman and former New Zealand and Australian beach flag champion Paul Cracroft-Wilson.
Also in the team is under 19 New Zealand Iron Woman champion Natalie Peat and Danielle McKenzie, who were both part of the inaugural Under 20 team who took part in Rescue 2012.
Completing the team line-up is New Zealand open men's board race champion Nick Malcolm, kayaker Liam O'Loughlin and Ironman champ Chris Moors.
The 2013 International Surf Rescue Challenge (ISRC) will be held in Onjuku, Japan from September 19-23.
Mr Bartlett says he is looking forward to taking on the other participating counties, especially the Australians, after the win at Rescue 2012. "We have a strong team here that includes both Olympians and world champions. They all have the experience, talent and an absolute determination to win once again," he says.
New Zealand will also be sending an Under 20s team to the competition in Japan. Like the Open team, the Under 20s features six male and six female athletes.
The ISRC is a competition between Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, USA, Great Britain and Japan. The ISRC originally started in 1939 as the Trans-Tasman Series between Australia and New Zealand. In 1999 South Africa joined the event and the Tri-Nations Challenge was formed. Since 2005 the event has grown to include six countries.