Cory Taylor to captain New Zealand team
MIDWAY and Gold Coast lifeguard Cory Taylor will captain the New Zealand surf lifesaving team to the International Surf Rescue Championships in late September in Durban, South Africa.
Taylor has been a key member of the Black Fins since 2014.
He is the world surf lifesaving board champion and last season won a round of the Nutri-Grain Ironman Series in Australia.
“Cory said he was humbled and very proud to be named as our captain,” said team coach Matt Cairns, of Gisborne.
“He’s been a big part of this team for years and is well respected. He’s in great shape and will lead by example when the team hit the surf in Durban.”
Midway’s Olivia Corrin will also be in the team while the assistant coach is Waikanae head coach Cory Hutchings.
The New Zealand high-performance open squad took part in a four-day training camp on the Gold Coast recently.
They have been preparing for South Africa, as well as the 2020 Lifesaving World Championships in Riccione, Italy, and pool events in Europe.
Squad athletes competed in the Australian Lifesaving Pool Championships and the Gold Coast Classic craft race.
Corrin and a teammate claimed the line throw title in a new Australian record time (11.79 seconds) in the pool champs.
Craft coach Hutchings was happy with what he saw from the Kiwi athletes in the Gold Coast Classic.
“It was great they had a few days to train in some much warmer conditions than those they have been training in back home.”
Waikanae’s Casie Fyall was among the beach exponents in the high-performance squad.
Beach coach Callum Taylor was there to help Fyall and the other beach athletes find the small improvements that would lift their performance in the years ahead.
Head coach Cairns felt the weekend was a great success.
“Our coaching team were pleased with what we saw from each of the squad members, particularly with how the new and more experienced squad members gelled so quickly,” he said.
“The weekend proved to be a fantastic opportunity for some team-building and culture development.
“It was great to finally come together after such a long time since the New Zealand championships at Mt Maunganui in March.
“I’m really looking forward to the months ahead and being part of the Black Fins team to South Africa and the competition and opportunities that trip will hold for this team.”
The New Zealand Black Fins and Junior Black Fins depart for South Africa on Sunday, September 22.
They compete on North Beach, Durban, in three tests against some of the world’s top surf athletes from South Africa, Australia, Japan and the United States. At stake are three trophies — the ISRC Trophy, the Tri-nations Trophy and the Trans-Tasman Cup.
Beach sprinter and flags exponent Briana Irving will be in the Junior Black Fins, along with Waikanae clubmates Christy Tate (ski), Georgie Pitkethley (board), Lachie Falloon (ironman and board) and Seven Mapu (beach sprint and flags).