The Lifesaving World Championships has got off to a roaring start for the reigning World Champions, the New Zealand Black Fins, who finished third in the first event of the championships.
Facing the Simulated Emergency Response Competition (SERC), both the Black Fins and Junior Black Fins faced different scenarios, which replicate a real life situation and require multiple response including rescuing potential drowning victims, first aid, and panicked bystanders.
Only four athletes from the team of 12 take part in the SERC. Leading the SERC for the Black Fins team today was Natalie Peat, backed up by Danielle McKenzie, Max Beattie and Steven Kent.
Steve Kent said it is a tough event to plan and prepare for because you “just don’t know what you’re going to get.”
Today – the team got a lakeside scenario, where some people had got into trouble, and someone had gone out to help on a board and ended up getting in trouble themselves, Kent said.
“We tried to train for it as best we could but it’s so difficult because of the nature of the event and not knowing what the scenario is until you go out. We just tried to keep each other calm beforehand, went through our processes, and discussed what we’re looking out for and how to back each other up,” he said.
“I thought our communication was really strong and we were pretty clear on what we were trying to do, and what our roles were. It obviously worked so we’re stoked,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Junior Black Fins had a similar scenario this morning before the Black Fins where they finished in 8th. Their team was made up by leader Mitch Cowdrey, alongside Declan Dempster, Lochlainn O’Connor and Claudia Kelly.
Their SERC scenario was a pool party “gone bad”, with multiple victims struggling in and around the water, including a sleepy supervisor.
Junior Black Fins Head Coach Matt Cairns said the team had a strong start to the competition and they should be proud of their performance.
“We had a pretty good start to our World Championships campaign. The team put in a huge effort at SERC and we’re proud of what they managed to achieve. We’re really looking forward to getting onto the beach tomorrow, although the weather appears to have worsened again which could create a bit more swell,” he explained.
“We will just focus on one race at a time and doing the best we can, which we’re certain the athletes will do.”
Tomorrow sees the Black Fins return to the South Australia Aquatic Centre from 11.30am New Zealand time, while the Junior Black Fins kick off the beach events an hour earlier from 10.30am New Zealand time at Glenelg Beach.
Alana McIsaac, Media & Communications Manager
Phone 027 515 7157