Otago Olympic swimmer Andy McMillan has the perfect
remedy for any lingering post-Games depression, throwing
himself into preparations for this week's world surf
The St Clair club member will captain a 12-strong New Zealand
team gunning for the Rescue 2012 title, after competing in
the 4 x 200m freestyle relay in London.
"Everyone talks about the post-Olympic depression but I had a
holiday around Europe after the Games, which I was excited
about, and then I got back and was straight into world champs
preparation," McMillan said.
"Everything has flowed on beautifully."
The Cromwell-raised 27-year-old has been based on the Gold
Coast for much of the past two years and it has revitalised
his training for both codes.
He shifted to Queensland to train at the Southport Club under
coach Glen Baker in early 2011 after several frustrating
years in Auckland, having grown up under the tutelage of the
late Duncan Laing in Dunedin.
"I had a few rough injuries during the last couple of years
in Auckland and in hindsight, I should've gone straight from
Mr Laing's programme to the Gold Coast.
"I've really relished the move and I've got a good support
network over here, with friends I swim with and also the surf
lifesavers over here are a bit like a family. It's been
Adelaide will be his third world surf life-saving
championships, after competing in Germany in 2008 and Egypt
in 2010, where he claimed individual gold in the 200m
The New Zealand team will be without long-time team captain
Glenn Anderson and partner Ayla Dunlop-Barrett, who are due
to have their first child, but McMillan is confident he can
"I had Glenn as my captain for a couple of years and learned
a lot off him so it's a privilege and honour to named as
captain this time around.
"We've got a big belief in this team and that's the most
important thing to have at this level."
Among the rookies in the New Zealand team are Olympic relay
swimmer Natasha Hind (Lyall Bay), ironman champion Max
Beattie and rising star Devon Halligan.
Halligan, the daughter of former Kiwis league player Daryl,
is the reigning New Zealand open and under-19 ironwoman
champion and the Australian under-19 ironwoman title holder.
Steve Ferguson (Piha), Hind, McMillan (St Clair) and Titahi
Bay's Steven Kent all competed at the London Olympics, while
Ferguson also competed at the 2000, 2004 and 2008 Olympics in
both swimming and kayaking.
While McMillan, Hind, Sam Lee and Kent will shoulder a heavy
workload in the pool, New Zealand has bolstered its beach
squad. Sprinters Paul Cracroft-Wilson and Chanel Hickman will
be key figures, with Fitzroy's Cracroft-Wilson back to defend
the beach flags title he won in Egypt.
Rescue 2012 will begin in Adelaide tomorrow with the five-day
national teams competition, followed by the world interclub
championships until November 18.
A New Zealand under-20 team, including St Clair's Carina
Doyle, will also compete at the titles, while several Kiwi
clubs are sending squads to the interclub component.
- Jamie Troughton