The Black Fins will be tested at the Queensland Pool Champs this coming weekend as part of their preparations for the 2016 Lifesaving World Championships, familiarly known as Rescue 2016.
The team will come together on the Gold Coast from July 8-17 for their second of three team camps ahead of Rescue 2016.
Eleven of the 12 athletes will be present as sprinter Olivia Eaton will be in Europe to represent New Zealand at the World Junior Athletics Championships.
The 10 day camp will see the athletes put through intense training sessions, team building activities, visits from some special guest speakers and a full dress rehearsal of the Rescue programme as well as competing at the Queensland Pool Championships at the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre from July 9-10.
Here, they will compete with around 200 other lifesavers in pool rescue events such as manikin tows, obstacle swims and tube rescue.
New Zealand team coach Jason Pocock says the camp will see the athletes pushed really hard with the reality of the world champs creeping up closer by the day.
"The opportunity to take part in the Queensland Pool Championships will be especially beneficial for the pool athletes as they will have a good hit out in all of the races we may be looking for them to race in come Rescue 2016, he says.
"It's a good opportunity to see where everyone is at, and allows the coaches to work specifically on some areas of development. It also allows all of the athletes to have some races which is hard to replicate at this time of the year. It is great to have a bit of a dress rehearsal during the camp."
As well as pool rescue events, the full dress rehearsal will include beach events like beach sprints, beach flags, board rescue and Ironman events.
Mr Pocock says this will allow the coaches to see how the athletes are tracking in both their training and racing.
Team manager Mark Weatherall says the Queensland pool champs and the full dress rehearsal will also allow the management team to make sure all aspects of their planning is in hand and their systems are working well.
"A lot of work is going in behind the scenes so it's a good opportunity to make sure we are on track," he says.
Rescue 2016, the Lifesaving World Championships, will be held in Eindhoven and Noordwijk in The Netherlands from September 1-18 and the Black Fins will be looking to take out the title for the third time in a row after first prising the title from Australia in Adelaide in 2012 and again in France in 2014.
The six female athletes include Commonwealth Games swimmers Samantha Lee (Lyall Bay) and Laura Quilter (Wainui) Nutri-Grain Ironnwoman stars Danielle McKenzie (Mairangi Bay) and Devon Halligan (Omanu), pool rescue specialist Natalie Peat (Papamoa) and beach sprinter Olivia Eaton (Mt Maunganui).
The men's line-up remains unchanged from Rescue 2014 and includes former Olympic swimmers Steven Kent (Titahi Bay) and Andrew McMillan (St Clair) along with Ironmen Max Beattie (Omanu) and Cory Taylor (Midway) who took part in their first Kellogg's Nutri-Grain series this year. They are joined by Paul Cracroft-Wilson (Fitzroy) and Chris Dawson (Midway).
New Zealand will also be sending a Youth team known as the Junior Black Fins. Like the Open team, the Youth team features six male and six female athletes.
Lisa Smith, Media & Communications Specialist,
Phone 09 303 9335 or 0276 488 823