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Black Fins ready to do battle

When the International Surf Rescue Challenge kicks off this weekend in Durban, South Africa, Kiwi ironman Cory Taylor will be embarking on the latest chapter of his already distinguished career.

The competition will be Taylor’s first as captain of the Black Fins and he says he’s ready to get underway.

“It’s a huge honour to captain the team,” the member of Midway Surf Life Saving NZ says.

“I’m very conscious that there have been a lot of great athletes that have gone before me but I’m also just another member of the Black Fins team.”

The open team, coached by Matt Cairns, is stacked with incredibly talented athletes, including reigning individual World Life Saving Champions, members of the 2014 and 2016 World Championship winning teams, as well as World Champions and Olympic-qualified athletes in other sports.

Joining the Black Fins in Durban, is the Under 19 junior team, which will be captained by East End Surf Life Saving Club’s 17-year-old Claudia Kelly.

Kelly is a member of the junior team that was crowned Youth Champions at the World Life Saving Championships in Adelaide last November.

Surf Life Saving NZ National Sport Manager Lewis McClintock has high praise for the teams, even before they hit the beach.

“Not only are these young men and women phenomenal athletes, but trained and qualified lifeguards as well.

“While we do receive some funding from High Performance Sport NZ, as a charity organisation all of the athletes have had to contribute some or all of the funding to get to Durban, as well as take time away from work or study, which shows their dedication and pride in representing New Zealand.”

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