Champion lifesavers in hunt for more titles

Last updated 06:22 14/11/2012
Shannon Eckstein
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GUN: Australian captain Shannon Eckstein will be joined b Kiwi captain Andrew McMillan and vice-captain Kevin Morrison.

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Some of New Zealand's world champion surf lifesavers are now on the same side as the Australians they defeated in Adelaide last weekend, as the focus turns to the inter-club competition at Rescue 2012.

Trans-Tasman cooperation will be on display when Gold Coast clubs Northcliffe, Kurrawa and Sydney powerhouse Manly mount their challenges for international supremacy.

Northcliffe will be led by Australian captain Shannon Eckstein who won the oceanman, single ski, board and surf race in the team event. This weekend he attempts to emulate compatriot Trevor Hendy and win a fourth world Ironman title.

Eckstein will be joined by two members of the victorious New Zealand squad, captain Andrew McMillan and vice-captain Kevin Morrison.

Kurrawa will be boosted by Paul Cracroft-Wilson, the Kiwi partner of Australian representative Melissa Howard and New Zealand's national team flags champion Chanel Hickman.

A star-studded Manly squad also has the services of 19-year-old Devon Halligan, the Australian under-19 ironwoman champion who played a leading role in New Zealand's triumph on Glenelg Beach after switching allegiance from her birthplace in April.

Northcliffe's all-stars also include Stewart's Olympic gold medal-winning team mate, 19-time Australian champion Tate Smith, world record holding English Channel swimmer Trent Grimsey, veteran Kristyl Smith and the champion ironwomen sisters Courtney and Bonnie Hancock.

Kurrawa will field one of the strongest all-round beach squads in the world with eight-time Australian champion Howard and nine-time winner Simon Harris joined by their Kiwi rivals Hickman and Cracroft-Wilson.

Howard was beaten by Hickman in last weekend's beach flags final while Cracroft-Wilson iwas third in the beach sprint and claimed silver in the flags.

New Zealand's top club Mount Maunganui feature 2012 Olympic K1 200 gold medallist Lisa Carrington, 2006 world beach sprint champion Holly Moczydlowski and French star Emmanuelle Bescheron.

The pool-based events end at the South Australia Aquatic Centre on Friday and then the clubs set up camp on the sand at Glenelg.

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