This time next week the Kiwi contingent will be on a plane to Japan where they will represent New Zealand at the 2013 International Surf Rescue Challenge (ISRC).
The competition is a gathering of the world's top lifesavers and originally started in 1939 as the Trans-Tasman Series between Australia and New Zealand. In 1999 South Africa joined the event and the Tri-Nations Challenge was formed. Since 2005 the event has grown and this year the participating countries are Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Korea, New Zealand, USA and Japan.
The 2013 ISRC is being hosted by the Japan Lifesaving Association at Onjuku Beach in Chiba from September 19-23.
Events include Ironman, surf race, surf ski, board relay, beach flags, beach sprints, tube rescue, beach relay and taplin relay.
Surf Life Saving New Zealand is sending two teams- the New Zealand Team and the Under 20s, each comprising of six male and six female athletes. They depart for Japan next Monday, September 16.
Last week, a last minute change was made to the NZ Team line-up with injury ruling Lyall Bay Surf Life Saving Club member and Olympic swimmer Natasha Hind out of the team. She has been replaced by Piha Surf Life Saving Club member Kirsty Wannan.
Also in the team is New Zealand Iron Man champion Max Beattie and two 2012 Olympians including gold medallist kayaker Lisa Carrington and swimmer Andy McMillan.
McMillan and Beattie were also part of the Black Fins team who claimed the world life saving crown at Rescue 2012 in November last year.
Three other Black Fins team mates join them in the team. They are world ski champion Devon Halligan, world beach flags champion Chanel Hickman and former New Zealand and Australian beach flag champion Paul Cracroft-Wilson.
Also in the team is under 19 New Zealand Iron Woman champion Natalie Peat and Danielle McKenzie, who were both part of the inaugural Under 20 team who took part in Rescue 2012.
Completing the team line-up is New Zealand open men's board race champion Nick Malcolm, kayaker Liam O'Loughlin and Ironman champ Chris Moors.
New Zealand team coach Scott Bartlett says he is expecting some good competition from the other participating countries but he believes New Zealand has what it takes to win. "Our athletes have been training incredibly hard in the lead-up to the competition and they're eager to get out there and perform at their best. "They all have the experience, talent and an absolute determination to win," he says.