Hamish Miller has every reason to be proud of his latest contribution to New Zealand Surf Lifesaving.
The 17-year-old from the Mount Maunganui Lifeguard Service captained the Junior Black Fins team to a close second behind Australia at the Lifesaving World Championships in Eindhoven, The Netherlands.
Miller, in his final year at Bethlehem College, says he enjoyed helping the team perform to their very best.
"It is all individual races so the points rack up to make the overall position. In the end we were pretty close," Miller said.
"That is the best we have ever done before so we were stoked with that and we had many really good individual races."
Miller enjoyed an outstanding haul of medals with gold in the line throw, silver in board rescue and the ocean man relay, and bronze medals in the ocean man (Ironman), ski race and the board race.
"I am completely rapped in that. I had done a lot of training over the winter and I knew this was a big opportunity for me. I know that I might not be able to get this again.
"So I was feeling good going over there and I came away some results that I am quite pleased with."
Miller is small in stature for an international surf athlete but said being tactically smart was the key.
"It is all about the mind. Thinking tactically and knowing the skills needed are important as they are faster off the beach because they are bigger.
"I do a lot of endurance work so I probably have endurance over speed on them. That's my number one strength so coming off the last can is where I make my move. Maybe I am not the fastest off the beach but I can really try to break them at the end which is what my game plan is most of the time."
Miller's Mount Maunganui clubmates Libby Bradley and Daniel Barron also had successful campaigns.
"They did incredibly well. There were a lot of PBs by seconds as well and they really have improved so much and they stepped up.
"Daniel was only called in at the last minute and with little training he did really well."
The senior Black Fins, including Papamoa's Natalie Peat and Mount Maunganui's Olivia Eaton, made history by becoming the first New Zealand team to win three consecutive world titles.
Peat won two golds, including a new New Zealand record in the pool with the 100m manikin tow with fins, and a bronze medal.
Miller said their performance was inspirational for his team.
"They are our role models so it is quite cool just to see them preparing and trying to mimic them. It really helped us in our campaign to be more professional."
Miller will still be a volunteer lifeguard patrolling the beach this summer but his sporting focus will include triathlons.
"I want to see if I can make that jump over to triathlons and just see how it goes."