Black Fins Team Named for International Surf Rescue Challenge 2023

Thursday, 22 June 2023

Surf Life Saving New Zealand (SLSNZ) has named the following Black Fins team for the International Surf Rescue Challenge (ISRC), which will be held in South Padre, Texas from 20-23 September.


The 12-strong team of athletes and management group is as follows:

*Represents Black Fins debut


Black Fins:

Briana Irving - Waikanae Surf Life Saving Club (SLSC)

Chris Dawson - Midway SLSC

*Claudia Kelly - East End SLSC

Cory Taylor - Midway SLSC

Danielle McKenzie - Mairangi Bay SLSC

*Gus Shivnan - Omanu SLSC

*James Scott - Ōrewa SLSC

*Joe Collins - Fitzroy SLSC

*Kiana O’Fee - Mount Maunganui Lifeguard Service

Michael Hanna - Waikanae SLSC

Molly Shivnan – Omanu SLSC

Olivia Corrin - Midway SLSC


Management Group:

Steven Kent - Black Fins Head Coach/Campaign Lead

Kev Morrison – Ocean Coach Lead

Fiona Hastie - Team Manager

Kendall Stevenson - Physiotherapist

Dr Theo Dorfling - Medical Doctor (non-travelling)

Tanya Hamilton – SLSNZ High Performance Manager/ISRC Custodian


The ISRC is the biggest international ocean and beach competition in the world, outside of the Lifesaving World Championships, with three days of thrilling surf lifesaving competition. 


Held every two years, the event serves as a platform to test the skills and expertise of surf lifeguards. They compete in three tests over three days in events including surf race, board race, surf ski race, and beach disciplines.


It operates on a point scoring system, with the first athlete from each country to cross the finish line in each event earning points and adding to their team’s overall tally. 


This year the competition will include teams from New Zealand, Australia, Canada, Japan, South Africa, and the USA.


Tanya Hamilton, SLSNZ High Performance Sport Manager, said, “The ISRC is the perfect opportunity for our athletes to develop and test their skills in competition outside of the World Championships.


“We’re excited about the Black Fins team that has been selected this year, as there’s a good mix of experienced and new talent.  This opens up a learning experience for the new caps as well as an exciting opportunity for our seasoned campaigners to continue racing on the international stage.”


Originating in 1937 as the Trans-Tasman Challenge, a surf lifesaving competition solely between Australia and New Zealand, the ISRC has evolved over the years.  In 1999, South Africa was invited to compete, giving rise to the Tri Nations Challenge, and in 2005 it expanded once again assuming its current name.


This year, the Junior Black Fins will not be competing at the ISRC. Instead, they will race in a newly developed competition with their Australian counterparts on the Gold Coast in Australia, which will host the 2024 Lifesaving World Championships.  Dubbed the ‘Battle of the Tasman’, the two junior teams will be joined by New Zealand and Australian Pathways Teams.   



For further information, please contact:

Tanya Hamilton


027 947 2612

SLSNZ High Performance Manager