Surf Life Saving New Zealand Names Team for New Trans-Tasman Event

Tuesday, 27 June 2023

Surf Life Saving New Zealand (SLSNZ) has named the following Junior Black Fins team and New Zealand Pathway team for the inaugural Battle of the Tasman, which will be held on the Gold Coast, Australia from 24-27 August.


The 12-strong teams of athletes and management groups are as follows:


Junior Black Fins:

Bella Wansborough – East End SLSC

Charlize Menefy – Ōrewa SLSC

Daniel Callebaut – East End SLSC

Isla Petherbridge – Whangamatā SLSC

Jasper Cornish – Red Beach SLSC

Kailen Brackebush – Ōrewa SLSC

Michaela Pocock – Mairangi Bay SLSC

Oska Smith – Waikanae SLSC

Talitha McEwan – Mount Maunganui LS

Tara Shotter – East End SLSC

Tyron Evans – Midway SLSC

Yahni Brown – Midway SLSC


Management Group:

Zac Franich – Campaign Lead

Bjorn Battaerd – Assistant Coach

Marcus Forbes – Logistics and Operations Lead

William Wilkins – Logistics and Operations Support


New Zealand Pathway Team:

Freya Stolte – East End SLSC

George Wenman – Ōrewa SLSC

Hugo Wrathall – Waimairi SLSC

Jack Keepa – Waikanae SLSC

Jordan Grylls – Ōpunake SLSC

Lachie Falloon – Waikanae SLSC

Pippa Nicol – Mount Maunganui LS

Rae Kwan – Ōrewa SLSC

Sam Roy – Mount Maunganui LS

Sophie Irving – Ōtaki SLSC

Summer Rolston – Waikanae SLSC

Zak Johnson – East End SLSC


Management Group:

Arna Majstrovic – Team Lead

Cory Hutchings – Ocean Coach

Tom Lowe – Pool Coach

Luke Smith – Logistics and Operations Lead


Battle of the Tasman is an exciting new competition between SLSNZ and Surf Life Saving Australia.


Designed to provide a high level international competition, Battle of the Tasman will see New Zealand’s Junior (U19) Black Fins team and a New Zealand Pathway team compete against Australia’s best junior team and pathway team.


The New Zealand Pathway team is made up of young athletes and seasoned competitors, on the cusp of earning their spot in the esteemed open Black Fins squad.


Emulating the format of the Lifesaving World Championships, the Battle of the Tasman will adopt a unique points-based system.  Over the course of four days, there’ll be a total of 37 events.  Only two athletes from each team will be able to compete in any single event, with the team collecting the most points taking the win.


Tanya Hamilton, SLSNZ High Performance Manager, said, “This event is a great opportunity for our athletes, coaches and management teams to gain experience in a distinctive competition format.  It plays a vital role in their development and readiness to potentially represent New Zealand at the Lifesaving World Championships next year.  We will take valuable learnings from this event, which will contribute to our preparations for the upcoming year.”


The event will take place at the same venues where the 2024 Lifesaving World Championships will be held.