SURF LIFESAVING - ANOTHER classic transtasman battle is brewing at the Rescue 2012 Life Saving World Championships in Adelaide next week.
The 12-day festival will include the inaugural world youth (16-19 years) teams’ championship, with four Gisborne clubbies in the 12-person New Zealand team coached by Midway’s Carl Newman.
“Even though the first three days of the champs will be held in the pool, which gives the European countries an advantage, I expect us and the Aussies to be gunning for the title,” said Newman.
“New Zealand has been getting better at the pool champs in the past five or six years and we’ve got two good teams going over (for the open and youth champs).”
Auckland-based Wainui club member Laura Quilter and Midway’s Australian-based Devon Halligan are in the open team.
Midway’s Cory Taylor and Chris Dawson and Wainui’s Toby Harris and Ben Quilter are in the u20 squad.
“For Gisborne to have four of the six boys in the u20 team is fantastic, and if they all perform to their ability we’ll be competitive,” said Newman.
The New Zealanders have had three training camps in the past three months.
“We’ve been to Rotorua, Adelaide — at the competition venues — and the Mount,” Newman said.
“Cory and Chris have spent the past six months training in Australia. Cory will be our main man in the beach events, which come after three days of pool events.
“He is with the Northcliffe Club at Surfers and has been training and competing against some of the best surf lifesavers in the world.
“The fact that he’s been able to train with the calibre of these guys and not have to endure the colder water here can only improve his chances of doing well.”
Wainui’s Harris will fly the Kiwi colours in the beach sprints and flags.
“Toby was called in as a late replacement just before we left for the Adelaide camp,” Newman said.
“He only just missed out on selection so he’s going to be great value to the team, and he’s been looking good in the training camps.”
Dawson and Ben Quilter are the pool specialists.
“Chris has been based with the Southport swimming club in Australia for six months and, like Cory, he can only benefit from being involved with swimmers who include four who went to the London Olympics,” Newman said.
“Ben, who swims out of the Comet club, moved to Wellington three weeks ago to be part of the New Zealand Swimming high performance programme.
“It’s a good under-20 team with the potential to win the competition.”
The pool events make up 50 percent of points and the beach events the other 50.
Newman said the Europeans were traditionally strong in the pool but Australia and New Zealand were the powerhouses on the beach,
“The open team have a tougher job, with 42 countries competing, but the NZ team are strong and would be expected to be there or thereabouts at the end of the five days.”