Black Fins ready to do battle

Friday, 27 September 2019

When the International Surf Rescue Challenge kicks off this weekend in Durban, South Africa, Kiwi ironman Cory Taylor will be embarking on the latest chapter of his already distinguished career.

The competition will be Taylor’s first as captain of the Black Fins and he says he’s ready to get underway.

“It’s a huge honour to captain the team,” the member of Midway Surf Life Saving NZ says.

“I’m very conscious that there have been a lot of great athletes that have gone before me but I’m also just another member of the Black Fins team.”

The open team, coached by Matt Cairns, is stacked with incredibly talented athletes, including reigning individual World Life Saving Champions, members of the 2014 and 2016 World Championship winning teams, as well as World Champions and Olympic-qualified athletes in other sports.

Joining the Black Fins in Durban, is the Under 19 junior team, which will be captained by East End Surf Life Saving Club’s 17-year-old Claudia Kelly.

Kelly is a member of the junior team that was crowned Youth Champions at the World Life Saving Championships in Adelaide last November.

Surf Life Saving NZ National Sport Manager Lewis McClintock has high praise for the teams, even before they hit the beach.

“Not only are these young men and women phenomenal athletes, but trained and qualified lifeguards as well.

“While we do receive some funding from High Performance Sport NZ, as a charity organisation all of the athletes have had to contribute some or all of the funding to get to Durban, as well as take time away from work or study, which shows their dedication and pride in representing New Zealand.”


About the International Surf Rescue Challenge

The competition started in 1999 as a trans-Tasman rivalry between Australia and New Zealand before expanding to include South Africa in a Tri-Nations format.

In recent years the competition has grown to include teams from Canada, Germany, France, Great Britain, Spain, Japan and the USA, with every nation encouraged to send an open and a youth/development team.

This year South Africa, Australia and New Zealand will compete with athletes from Japan, Spain and the USA. The athletes will be competing in 23 events incorporating a mix of individual and team races.

Test 1: Saturday 28th September

Test 2: Sunday 29th September

Test 3: Wednesday 2nd October

About the Black Fins and the Junior Black Fins

The Black Fins and the Junior Black Fins are New Zealand’s national surf lifesaving teams.

Team member names and Surf Life Saving NZ clubs

Black Fins (Open)

  • Cory Taylor – Midway (Captain)
  • Carina Doyle - St Clair
  • Danielle McKenzie - Mairangi Bay
  • Devon Halligan - Omanu
  • Lochlainn O'Connor - Mt Maungaui
  • Max Beattie - Omanu
  • Mike Lee - Mairangi Bay
  • Murdoch Finch - Omanu
  • Natalie Peat - Papamoa
  • Olivia Corrin - Midway
  • Olivia Eaton - Mt Maungaui
  • Scott Cowdrey - Papamoa

Juniors (U19)

  • Claudia Kelly - East End (Captain)
  • Astaria Teaukura - Mairangi Bay
  • Atakura Julian - Otaki
  • Briana Irving - Waikanae
  • Christy Tate - Waikanae
  • Fletcher Moles - East End
  • Georgie Pitkethley - Waikanae
  • Joe Collins - Fitzroy
  • Lachie Falloon - Waikanae
  • Louis Clark - Taylors Mistake
  • Sasha Reid - Fitzroy
  • Seven Mapu - Waikanae

 For more information please contact:

Lewis McClintock

National Sport Manager

Surf Life Saving NZ

027 239 5622


Melanie Louden

Media and Communications Manager

Surf Life Saving NZ

021 757 433