The Black Fins have landed in Riccione, Italy

Wednesday, 21 September 2022

After 40 hours of travel the team and management staff have arrived at their base for the World Championships that kick off on September 27.

“It was a long haul,” team captain Steve Kent says.  “Even with a few World Champs campaigns under my belt that was a long stretch to get here.  “But it’s awesome to be here and the team are excited about having a few days to acclimatise and get ready to go racing.”

This is Kent’s seventh World Championships and whilst some would call him a seasoned campaigner he’s well aware of the pitfalls of not being open to learning more.

“This is a new location, a new pool and a new beach to go racing at,” he says.  “Just walking down to the beach after we arrived gave me the chance to take in the experience again.  “If you think you know it all you’re setting yourself up to be caught out. I love having the chance to soak it all up like it’s my first time.”

The Black Fins kick off their World Championships on September 27, in the pool at 9am local time with the women’s and men’s 200m Obstacles event.

And with a week to dial everything in, Kent says the team couldn’t ask for a better build up.

“It’s brilliant,” he says.  “Being able to spend the time to bond as a team is one thing, being able to do that at the event location makes it even better. “It’s incredibly exciting.”

About the Lifesaving World Championships:

Every two years the world’s top lifeguards converge on a selected location to compete for the coveted World Championship title.

With the postponement of the 2020 World Championships, due to Covid-19, the 2022 World Championships are finally being held in Riccione, Italy. 

Open and Junior national teams will contest events in the pool and at the beach, accumulating points as a team across all the events.

Whilst Kiwis are accustomed to seeing lifeguards taking part in rescues at beaches, in Europe – in land-locked counties in particular – lifeguards perform the majority of their rescues at pools.

The two facets come together at the World Championships to showcase their lifeguarding skills in teams and help decide the best of the best.