Champ relaxing after win

Andy McMillan
Andy McMillan

Andy McMillan, of Cromwell, was today relaxing in Adelaide after becoming a world champion at the weekend.

McMillan, was part of the New Zealand Surf Lifesaving team that won the world championship crown for the first time since 1998 in a trans-Tasman sporting event.

"Words can't describe the win, the emotion that flowed through the body,'' he said.

Andy McMillan in action during Rescue 2012.
Andy McMillan in action during Rescue 2012.

"The team got together 18 months ago and we had a vision of how we were going to attack it and we never veered from that.''

McMillan and other team members are busy packing up and checking out before making their way to respective inter-club competitions.

McMillan, who has been based on the Gold Coast for the past two years, will return to Otago next year to attend teachers college at the University of Otago.

His father lives in Cromwell and his mother is in Dunedin.

"I hope this win inspires other clubs in New Zealand.''

In Egypt two years ago New Zealand led at the conclusion of the pool-based events and the first day on the coastline, only to be overhauled at the death.

However, there was no repeat yesterday as Australia's gun competitors barely eroded New Zealand's massive 91-point advantage.

As the outcome became apparent, Australian officials and fans turned glum as their team of superstar ironmen and women floundered.

There were wild scenes as the Kiwis took ownership of the Alan B Whelpton Trophy for the first time since Cory Hutchings and Trent Bray propelled the team to victory in 1998.

On that occasion Australia famously neglected to bring the trophy with them and had to get it couriered over the Tasman on the last day - this time it took pride of place on the waterfront.

New Zealand's campaign went to plan from the outset inside the Adelaide Aquatic Centre where world record breakers Samantha Lee, Natasha Hind plus London Olympic men's team swimmers Andy McMillan, Steven Kent and kayaker Steven Ferguson constructed the necessary buffer.

The women could then relax as the beach and ocean specialists ensured their gold medal-winning exploits were not in vain.

New Zealand finished on 844 points, a massive 79 clear of their hosts.

While McMillan, Kent and Ferguson are veterans, the championships also unearthed new stars.

Devon Halligan, 19, smashed a quality field to win the women's ski race yesterday while young ironman Max Beattie also performed beyond expectations by finishing second.

Nickname: Macca, Smasher
Born: 1985
Home town: Cromwell
Club: St Clair SLSC
Sporting Achievements: 2012 London Olympics (9th place), Rescue 2010 (3 golds; 200m obstacles, tube rescue, taplin relay); 2009 Fina World Championships, Rescue 2008, 2006 Commonwealth Games (5th place)

The Southland Times