Third test set to be a stunner for Junior Black Fins at International Surf Rescue Challenge

Tuesday, 1 October 2019

The third test of the International Surf Rescue Challenge promises to be a hotly contested event.

After two tests the Junior Black Fins have proven they are a force to be reckoned with in Durban, South Africa. Big surf and a rough weather forecast has seen the third test brought forward a day and it will be one last chance for the Kiwis to show the world what they’re capable of.

The Junior Black Fins held nothing back in the second test, on September 29, 2019, despite being a team member down with Sasha Reid out of action due to concussion protocol.

From the opening events the team signaled their intentions.

Louis Clark picked up the first gold of the day in the men’s surf race. Then Astaria Teaukura, Christy Tate, Claudia Kelly and Georgie Pitkethley won the women’s tube rescue and Atakura Julian, Fletcher Moles, Lachie Falloon and Louis Clark won the men’s tube rescue.

Teaukura, Briana Irving, Tate and Pitkethley also combined to won the women’s beach relay while Claudia Kelly won the women’s ski race in testing conditions.

“It was an epic performance,” coach Zac Franich says.

“The conditions in the water were tough but the team showed they are incredibly skilled.”

Water events were suspended after the youth ski races due to conditions deteriorating, which saw a change to the programme and some craft and iron events not raced.

“That shows just how impressive the Juniors did. I’m not sure we’d be lining up at home in surf like this,” Franich says.

“We’re really proud of all of the team, we challenged them to come out firing after an impressive first day and that’s exactly what they did.”

Earlier in the day Teaukura was third in the women’s surf race, Julian and Joe Collins finished second in the men’s board rescue and Teaukura and Pitkethley finished third in the women’s board rescue.

Briana Irving was second in the women’s beach sprint and Seven Mapu finished third in the men’s.

Christy Tate and Fletcher Moles bagged third in the mixed ski relay and Julian, Moles, Falloon and Mapu were third in the men’s beach relay.

In the mixed surf teams race, Teaukura, Kelly, Atakura and Clark were second. Mapu was second in the men’s beach flags and Irving finished third in the women’s.