New Zealand team captain Andrew McMillan has led the charge on the first full day of pool competition at the Lifesaving World Championships in Adelaide yesterday.

The 27-year-old Olympic swimmer set national records in the 200m obstacles swim and 100m manikin tow with fins heats, qualifying for finals in both events.

McMillan's 200m obstacles time of 1m 55.91s beat his previous New Zealand record of 1.56.06 and is the fastest time in the Commonwealth.

It is also less than a second off Italian Federico Pinotti's 2009 world record of 1.54.97.


"That 200m time was a bit of a surprise because at the last worlds, I was the only one to go under 2mins in the heats but there were a few of us out there today," McMillan said.

"The pool is beautiful to swim in and I felt really good," he said.

"It was also good to send a message in the heats that we're here to play and I still think we've got a bit more to give as well."

McMillan also took more than 1.5s off former New Zealand captain Glenn Anderson's 100m manikin tow time set at the last world championships in Egypt two years ago. He is qualifying fourth for the final, although he is confident he can pick up more time.

"A couple of things didn't quite go to plan ... but luckily I came home pretty strong," he said.

The New Zealand women's 4 x 50m obstacle relay team - Natasha Hind, Sam Lee, Devon Halligan and Laura Quilter - capped a solid session by leading qualifiers in the heats, while the men's team were second-fastest. Hind and Lee also made the final of the 200m obstacles.

At the master's ocean competition at Christies Beach at Adelaide, Mairangi Bay paddler Travis Mitchell took out the men's 30-35 ski race.