Black Fins retain world surf lifesaving title

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Two gold medals on the beach in France has contributed to an already successful campaign that has seen the New Zealand Black Fins crowned retaining world champions in France overnight. 

The team of 12, led by Dunedin's Andrew McMillan, has rewritten the history books as they are now the first NZ surf lifesaving team, and the first nation other than Australia, to win back-to-back world titles.

They finished ahead of Australia who came in second with France, the host nation, in third to hold on to the Alan B. Whelpton, AO Trophy.

The team started off their final day of competition on a high, grabbing a medal in the team's first event of the day. Fresh from winning a world championship title in the Women's Board Race yesterday, Mairangi Bay's Danielle McKenzie stepped in to claim another silver for the team in the Women's Ski Race. 

Not to disappoint, Omanu's Max Beattie then also took silver in the Men's Board Race with Midway's Cory Taylor not too far behind in sixth.

It was then the captain, Andy McMillan's turn to add another medal to the tally with the St Clair SLSC member taking silver in the Men's Surf Race.

Australian Beach Flags Champion Chanel Hickman (Mairangi Bay) then took gold in the Women's Beach Flags, her first medal for the competition. Teammate Paul Cracroft-Wilson followed up with a medal winning performance, taking silver in the Men's Beach Flags. 

Not content with just one silver for the day, McKenzie took another silver in the Ironwoman with Midway's Cory Taylor  also taking silver in the Iron  Man.

The Women's Ocean Relay team of Natalie Peat (Papamoa), Natasha Hind (Lyall Bay), McKenzie and Hickman then claimed the day's only bronze medal.

In true world champion style, the team finished off the day as they started- on a high note, winning gold in the Men's Taplin Team of Taylor, Cracroft-Wilson, Beattie and Midway's Chris Dawson.

Heading into the final day of competition at Rescue 2014, the Black Fins were in first place on 608 points, with France in second on 565 points with Australia in third on 559. NZ retained their lead with France and Australia swapping positions by the end of the competition.

New Zealand Team Manager Mark Weatherall says it's very difficult to explain the jubilation but it's a wonderful feeling to get back-to-back world titles.  "I'm so very proud of the team and the determination to get this win- to create history for New Zealand is an amazing feeling," he says.

Surf Life Saving New Zealand Chairman Geoff Hamilton says on behalf of the organisation, he'd like to thank the management team of coaches Scott Bartlett and Jason Pocock, managers Mark Weatherall and Steve  Vaughan, physio Susan Perrit and Doctor Caroline Stuart for their amazing work with the NZ Black Fins.

"We look forward re-writing the record books on this outstanding performance and to welcoming them all home in due course as World Champions," he says.

The New Zealand Youth Team also had a successful day in the pool on their final day of competition, picking up another two medals to add to a successful campaign. Papamoa's Ben Johnston and Sumner's Brittany Tucker each picked up bronze medals in the Men's and Women's 50m Manikin Carry.

Ben finished in a time of 31.96 with Germany's Joshua Perling in first place in a time of 31.28 and Spain's Domingo Togores in 31.88. Brittany clocked 37.77 behind Australia's Prue Davies in a time of 37.32 and Germany's Annalena Geyer in third with a time of 37.46.

Overall, the New Zealand Youth Team finished in second place behind Australia and ahead of Germany.

Visit the High Performance Facebook page here for results, updates and photos from throughout the competition.

Black Fins: Day Five results

1st- Chanel Hickman, Women's Beach Flags
1st - Cory Taylor, Paul Cracroft-Wilson, Max Beattie & Chris Dawson, Men's Taplin Team
2nd- Paul Cracroft-Wilson, Men's Beach Flags
2nd- Danielle McKenzie, Women's Ski Race
2nd- Max Beattie, Men's Board Race
2nd- Andrew McMillan, Men's Surf Race
2nd- Danielle McKenzie, Iron Woman
2nd- Cory Taylor, Iron Man
3rd- Natalie Peat, Chanel Hickman, Natasha Hind, Danielle McKenzie, Women's Ocean Relay
4th- Natasha Hind, Women's Surf Race
4th- Chris Dawson, Men's Surf Race
5th- Max Beattie, Ironman
5th- Natalie Peat, Women's Surf Race
6th- Cory Taylor, Men's Board Race
8th- Natalie Peat, Women's Ski Race
8th- Natalie Peat, Iron Women

New Zealand Youth Team: Day Four results

3rd- Ben Johnston, 50m Manikin Carry (31.96)
3rd- Brittany Tucker, 50m Manikin Carry (37.77)
4th- Jacob Hales, 100m Manikin Carry with Fins (49.56)
5th- Andrew Trembath, 100m Manikin Carry with Fins (49.59)
5th- Andrew Trembath, 100m Rescue Medley (1.06.82)
7th- Brittany Tucker, 100m Rescue Medley (1.07.50)
8th- Jacob Hales, 100m Rescue Medley (34.57)

Youth Team final points tally:
Australia: 1065
NZ: 787
Germany: 600
Italy: 542
France: 503

New Zealand Team:

Natasha Hind- Lyall Bay
Samantha Lee- Lyall Bay
Chanel Hickman- Mairangi Bay
Danielle McKenzie- Mairangi Bay
Laura Quilter- Wainui
Natalie Peat- Papamoa
Steven Kent- Titahi Bay
Andrew McMillan- St Clair
Paul Cracroft Wilson- Fitzroy
Cory Taylor- Midway
Max Beattie- Omanu
Chris Dawson- Midway

Scott Bartlett- Coach
Jason Pocock- Assistant Coach
Mark Weatherall- Manager
Steven Vaughan- Assistant Manager
Susan Pirret- Physiotherapist
Dr Caroline Stuart- Sports Doctor (non-traveling)

New Zealand Youth Team:

Madison Kidd - Papamoa
Maia Bryant - Papamoa
Ben Cochrane - Omanu
Olivia Eaton - Mt Maunganui
Jacob Hales - Papamoa
Jake Hurley - Mairangi Bay
Ben Johnston - Papamoa
Matthew Scott - Midway
Jasmine Smith - Wainui
Andrew Trembath - St Clair
Brittany Tucker - Sumner
Hannah Williams - Piha

Kurt Wilson- Coach
Jonelle Quane- Assistant Coach
Brent Wilson- Manager
Mike Ellis- Physiotherapist


The 2014 Lifesaving World Champions, the NZ Black Fins. Photo: Barbara Newton


 Chanel Hickman wins the Women's Beach Flags and Paul Cracroft-WIlson crosses the line in front of Australia in the Taplin/Oceanman. Pics: Barbara Newton

For more information please contact: 

Lisa Honeybone, Media & Communications Specialist, SLSNZ
Phone 09 303 9335 or 0276 488 823