Two years of hard work and preparation was put to the test in The Netherlands overnight as the Black Fins took on the first day of Rescue 2016, the Lifesaving World Championships.
The Simulated Emergency Response Competition (SERC) marked the first events for the national team's competition at the Pieter van den Hoogenband pool in Eindhoven.
The SERC events are designed to test the initiative, judgment, knowledge, and abilities of four lifesavers who, acting as a team, apply lifesaving skills in a simulated emergency situation unknown to them prior to the start. Team captain Andy McMillan along with Max Beattie, Natalie Peat and Devon Halligan competed for the Black Fins.
They finished the SERC events in sixth place overall behind France, Japan, Spain, Canada and the United Kingdom.
Team manager Mark Weatherall says the work that coach Jason Pocock and the team put in leading up to the event proved to be invaluable. "We are very happy with the placing and look forward to building on the solid start we made," he says.
The Rescue 2016 opening ceremony took place following the SERC events with the majority of the team attending; the swimmers stayed back to focus on their final preparation.
They now have two days of racing ahead of them in the pool with a rest day on Friday before two more days of competition on the beach in Noordwijk.
The New Zealand Youth team, the Junior Black Fins, begin their events later tonight (NZ time) on the beach in Noordwijk.
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 facebook.com/slsnzhp for results, updates and photos throughout the event.
For full results, please visit http://livetiming.lifesaving2016.com/
New Zealand 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
Natalie Peat and Andy McMillan at the SERC events.
Lisa Smith, Media & Communications Manager,
Phone 09 303 9335 or 0276 488 823