Endless hours of swim training paid off when Olympian Natasha Hind set a world record to help New Zealand win the recent surf lifesaving world championship.
Hind was part of the first New Zealand surf lifesaving team to lift the Alan B Whelpton Trophy since 1998.
She and fellow Lyall Bay Surf Club member Samantha Lee set world records when the pressure was on and helped give the New Zealand team a significant buffer heading into the beach part of the world champs.
New Zealand were able to maintain their lead on the beach. Standout performances by Devon Halligan and Nikki Cox, who won gold and silver in the ski rescue race, proved more than enough to hold off the Australians and win 844 points to 765.
Hind has been part of the national surf lifesaving squad since 2006, but until this year had been unable to compete at the world championships because of swimming commitments.
She said being a team member alongside people like Cox, who had been doing it for up to eight years, and trying to win the world title made it even more special.
"The team had a really good chance of winning last time, so since then we've been really determined.
"We went further than we needed to go to ensure we'd win it, and it ended up being a convincing win, which was the best way to do it on the Aussies' home turf."
The 23 year-old was part of the women's relay team that placed 11th overall in the 4 x 200m and set the New Zealand record at the London Olympics in August. It was her second Olympics.
She said it was hard to fit in everything when she got back from London, but the fact that the surf lifesaving was only eight weeks away gave her the psychological edge to push through.
"Usually when it's just swimming, you get quite a good balance and it's not too hard on your social life, but in those eight weeks I would get home from night training and just collapse. I had no energy for anything else."
Hind piled four or five extra sessions on top of her already hectic swimming schedule, often training 35 hours a week.
- The Wellingtonian