Gold rush on the beach as Black Fins close in on world title

Saturday, 10 September 2016

The Black Fins kept up their fine form overnight (NZ time) as they took on Day Four of the 2016 Lifesaving World Championships in The Netherlands.

Having completed a successful first three days of competition in the pool in Eindhoven, where they took a total of 14 medals and broke six new NZ records, the Black Fins had a rest day on Friday before moving on to the beach events in Noordwijk.

The championship title is within reach as they maintained their lead on 689 points ahead of Australia on 594 and France on 501. Germany and Italy round out the top five.

Coach Jason Pocock says the day was nothing other than a gold rush on the beach for the mighty Black Fins.

Individual golds came from Olivia Eaton who beat Australia's Melissa Cracroft-Wilson to take out the women's Beach Sprint title while captain Andy McMillan took out the men's Surf Race. The team took out both the men's and women's tube rescue titles as well as the men's Board Rescue.

It wasn't just gold they walked away with; there was also a silver for Cory Taylor in the men's Ski Race and bronze for Danielle McKenzie in the women's Board Race, Devon Halligan in the women's Surf Race and the women's Beach Relay team and Board Rescue team.

Mr Pocock says it was a really solid first day of competition on the beach. "We wanted to manage ourselves in the morning and build some momentum through the early finals and that's exactly what the guys did.

"I'm really proud to be associated with this whole team. I think today's efforts can be highlighted by a single word- heart."

Mr Pocock says a former team mate explained heart as that ability when everyone else is hurting just as much as you but you find that one thing to manage the pain more than the rest and get the success; and that's what the team did.

"But it's not the end yet and we are passionately trying to make sure that we walk off the beach tomorrow proud of what we have done, so it's all focus on tomorrow's racing and making sure we have all the plans and preparations in place," he says.

The New Zealand Youth team, the Junior Black Fins, moved over to the pool in Eindhoven for their third day of competition and added another four medals to their 20 medals from the first two days of competition on the beach.

Captain Hamish Miller with Zac Reid took the team's only gold for the day in the 2x50m Line Throw, just narrowly missing a world record. Lewis Clareburt was also a standout, taking silver in the men's 100m Rescue Medley and 200m Obstacle Swim with Zac Reid taking the bronze.

The current points standing has the Junior Black Fins in second place on 607 points. Australia still holds the lead with 733 points and France is in third with 399 points.

Coach Jonelle Quane says it was a great first day in the pool with athletes reaching personal bests in every event and some very close calls which saw them finish fourth numerous times.

"I'm very proud of the whole team for, not only how they performed, but by the way they conducted themselves and continued to be relentless, she says.

"We're looking forward to our last day of racing tomorrow which we look to build on."

The biannual World Lifesaving Championships is the blockbuster event for lifesavers around the world. With several thousand competitors taking part, it is the largest international lifesaving sport competition in the world.

All the events are based around rescue capability and are specific to saving people's lives.

The Black Fins are aiming to take out the national teams' 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.

Follow our national teams on Facebook at for results, updates and photos throughout the event.

For full results, please visit


Black Fins

Women's Board Race: Danielle McKenzie 3rd, Devon Halligan 4th
Men's Ski Race: Cory Taylor 2nd, Max Beattie 6th
Women's Beach Sprint: Olivia Eaton 1st, Devon Halligan 4th (B final)
Men's Beach Sprint: Paul Cracroft-Wilson 4th
Women's Beach Relay: Olivia Eaton, Devon Halligan, Danielle McKenzie, Natalie Peat 3rd
Men's Beach Relay: Paul Cracroft-Wilson, Max Beattie, Cory Taylor, Chris Dawson 4th
Men's Board Rescue: Max Beattie and Cory Taylor 1st
Women's Board Rescue: Danielle McKenzie and Devon Halligan 3rd
Women's Surf Race: Devon Halligan 3rd, Natalie Peat 5th
Men's Surf Race: Andy McMillan 1st, Chris Dawson 4th
Women's Tube Rescue: Danielle McKenzie, Sam Lee, Natalie Peat, Devon Halligan, 1st
Men's Tube Rescue: Cory Taylor, Steve Kent, Andy McMillan, Chris Dawson, 1st

Junior Black Fins

Women's 200m Obstacle Swim: Libby Bradley 6th, Olivia Corrin 7th
Men's 200m Obstacle Swim: Lewis Clareburt 2nd, Zac Reid 3rd
Women's 4x50m Obstacle Relay: Libby Bradley, Alaynah Bettany, Olivia Corrin, Hannah Williams, 4th
Men's 4x50m Obstacle Relay: Lewis Clareburt, Zac Reid, Seb Johnson, Daniel Barron, 6th
Women's 2x50m Line Throw: Grace Kaihau & Olivia Corrin 4th
Men's 2x50m Line Throw: Hamish Miller & Zac Reid 1st
Women 100m Rescue Medley: Libby Bradley 6th 
Boys 100m Rescue Medley: Lewis Clareburt 2nd

Black Fins

Andrew McMillan- St Clair (captain)
Steven Kent- Titahi Bay
Max Beattie- Omanu
Cory Taylor- Midway
Paul Cracroft-Wilson- Fitzroy
Chris Dawson- Midway
Samantha Lee- Lyall Bay
Laura Quilter- Wainui
Danielle McKenzie- Mairangi Bay
Devon Halligan- Omanu
Natalie Peat- Papamoa
Olivia Eaton- Mt Maunganui

Coach: Jason Pocock
Assistant coach: Steven Ferguson
Technical Support Coach: Brett Robinson
Manager: Mark Weatherall
Assistant manager: Steve Vaughan
Physio: Susan Pirret

Junior Black Fins

Alaynah Bettany - Lyall Bay
Grace Kaihau - Orewa
Hannah Williams - Piha
Jamie Gedye - Waikanae
Libby Bradley - Mt Maunganui
Olivia Corrin - Midway
Hamish Miller - Mt Maunganui
Lewis Clareburt - Lyall Bay
Javon McCallum - Fitzroy
Daniel Barron - Mt Maunganui
Seb Johnson - Sumner
Zac Reid - Fitzroy

Coach: Jonelle Quane
Assistant Coach: Matt Sutton
Manager: Ange Johnston
Physiotherapist: Mike Ellis


Devon Halligan, Natalie Peat, Samantha Lee and Danielle McKenzie take gold in the women's Tube Rescue.

For more information, please contact:

Lisa Smith, Media & Communications Manager, SLSNZ
Phone 09 303 9335 or 0276 488 823