Surf Life Saving New Zealand Eyes the Future After Intense Battle of the TasmanMonday, 28 August 2023
After an intense four-days of hard racing in the pool and on the beach, Surf Life Saving New Zealand (SLSNZ) is already anticipating the next Battle of the Tasman.
Representing New Zealand at the inaugural competition were two teams of 12: the Junior Black Fins and the New Zealand Pathway team.
They competed in a total of 37 events on the Gold Coast in Queensland. Only two athletes from each team were allowed to compete to any single event, with the team collecting the most points claiming the victory.
It was a closely contested competition, but Surf Life Saving Australia eventually came out on top with 292 points, compared to New Zealand’s 229 points.
Tanya Hamilton, SLSNZ High Performance Sport Manager, said, “We’d like to acknowledge Gold Coast City Council who helped to make it possible for New Zealand teams to attend this event. Both teams performed admirably, dominating the two pool event days. It was great to see them apply the techniques they learned earlier in the year during the pool rescue clinics conducted by one of the world’s top former poor rescue competitors Kai Schirmer.
“Going head-to-head with the Aussies in the ocean events was always going to be a challenge. We saw some impressive individual and team performances despite the challenging onshore conditions, and our beach sprinters were awesome with Jordan Grylls and Oska Smith both producing excellent performances.”
The ocean events took place at Kurrawa Surf Lifesaving Club and the pool races were held at the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre – the same venues as next year’s Lifesaving World Championships.
Hamilton said, “Although Australia won overall in points, all the athletes and the team management gained a lot from the event. It effectively served its purpose as a competitive learning opportunity for our youth and pathways teams. With the brand-new trophy now displaying 20 blank plaques, I can imagine that this won’t be the last Battle of the Tasman!”
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