Surf Life Saving New Zealand (SLSNZ) is pleased to announce the coach and team manager of the New Zealand Inflatable Rescue Boat (IRB) team, who will be competing at the Lifesaving World Championships for the first time this year.
Jaron Mumby from Fitzroy and Opunake Surf Life Saving Clubs (SLSC) will head the team as the New Zealand IRB Coach, with Andrew Lancaster of Muriwai SLSC as the Team Manager.
Both Jaron and Andrew have vast experience with IRBs in lifeguarding and sport, with Jaron competing at the 1998 World Championships in Auckland along with the 2001 and 2003 Tri-Nations event [a competition between New Zealand, Australia and South Africa] while Andrew successfully circumnavigated New Zealand in an IRB, spending a total of 34 days at sea.
Interestingly, Andrew spends his time as an IRB driver while Jaron prefers being a crewman, making them the ultimate duo to take the New Zealand team to gold. In fact, both of them have previously won the Arancia trophy for being New Zealand's top IRB crew, which is no easy feat.
Head coach Jaron said: "Along with Chris Scott, while competing for Opunake SLSC, we were the last to represent New Zealand in the IRB. So when I heard there was the possibility of IRB racing returning to international competition, and for a chance for our talented IRB crews to wear the fern, I knew I could add a lot of value and help our crews become world champions."
Team manager Andrew echoes Jaron's thoughts but adds "IRB racing has been my passion for many years, so when the opportunity to be involved in a high performance programme presented itself, it was a no brainer."
Although the two admit that the quality of athletes in the squad is so high, selecting the final men's and women's team will be difficult. "We have quite an impressive squad with an intriguing mix of raw talent, experience and pure pace. Selecting the final two crews to compete in Adelaide is going to be a massive challenge," said Andrew.
Surf Life Saving New Zealand Sport Manager, Mike Lord said he's delighted to have two highly experienced IRB operators leading the team, which means the New Zealand crew have the best shot at winning a world title.
"Both Jaron and Andrew have such extensive knowledge of IRB racing, so there is no doubt they will do a great job leading our New Zealand team at the Lifesaving World Championships later this year, and again in 2020.
"Everyone is really looking forward to seeing the IRB team back in world events, and I'm sure these two will do us proud representing New Zealand at the top level of the sport."
Selection of the New Zealand team will be announced later in the year, following the final trial from the New Zealand IRB squad. To read about the squad selection, click here.
Alana McIsaac, Media & Communications Manager
Phone 027 515 7157