The reality of another world title is dangling in front of the Black Fins as they prepare for their first day of competition at Rescue 2016 in The Netherlands.
Overnight (NZ time) the Black Fins and Junior Black Fins came together for their traditional supporter's luncheon with friends and family who have travelled to The Netherlands to cheer on the teams. The Black Fins were also presented with their beanies.
Team manager Mark Weatherall says they are looking forward to getting underway. "It's been a two-year campaign to get here and we thank our sponsors and supporters," he says.
Racing begins in the pool for the Black Fins at the Pieter Van Den Hoogenband stadium in Eindhoven for the Simulated Emergency Response Competition (SERC) at 12.30am Wednesday morning NZ time.
This will be followed by the Opening Ceremony and then two days of pool events from Wednesday evening (NZ time).
Team coach Jason Pocock says they're looking in good shape as they put the finishing touches on their tapers.
"We have had a fantastic preparation. The Dutch people have been very kind and helped us out with lots of things which has made our preparation go well, he says.
"Focus now turns to managing the tension and not using up all of their energy as they are busting to get out there and race and make everyone proud."
Mr Pocock says "it is great to get all the support from back home in New Zealand and know that we have such a fantastic surf lifesaving community."
The Junior Black Fins start their competition events at the beach in Noordwijk on Wednesday evening, NZ time.
The team has had a busy 48 hours as they travelled to Eindhoven to see the pool venue and undertake three training sessions before meeting up with the Black Fins for the supporter's luncheon and then travelling back to Noordwijk.
Team manager Ange Johnston says it was good for the athletes to see the pool and familiarise themselves with the venue prior to racing there on Saturday and Sunday, after their beach events.
They are looking forward to the final stages of their preparations and they're all in great spirits.
Keep up to date with results and information from The Netherlands by following the SLSNZ High Performance Facebook page.
Lisa Smith, Media & Communications Manager,
Phone 09 303 9335 or 0276 488 823