World and Olympic kayak champion Lisa Carrington will skip her favoured K1 200 metre event instead turning her focus to New Zealand's flourishing team boats in the upcoming World Cup series in Europe.
Canoe Racing New Zealand selectors have named a record eight-strong female squad for the cup later this month.
Carrington who is known for winning Olympic gold in the K1 will mostly compete in K2 and K4 combinations in the first two events of the season.
The change allows young kayakers Caitlin Ryan from the North Shore and Aimee Fisher from Hawke's Bay to get starts in the individual boats
Ryan will tackle the K1 500m in Portugal and national champion Fisher who made a World Cup final in the sprint distance in Germany last year, will paddle the K1 200m in Hungary.
The New Zealand team flies out this weekend, heading for a training camp in Portugal, before the World Cup starts on May 19.
In the team events Carrington replaces fellow Whakatane paddler Jaimee Lovett - now retired - in one boat, while Kim Thompson, Briar McLeely, Rebecca Cole and Britney Ford will form a second quartet, competing in both K4 200m and 500m events at both rounds.
Women's coach Rene Olsen said being able to put two quality K4 boats onto the world stage is a big achievement for a country the size of New Zealand.
"I'm incredibly proud of both the depth we've developed and that our best athletes have an ambition to be a part of the team boats now. The exciting part is that there's still a long way to go."
The New Zealand team will return after the second World Cup at the end of May, before a new team will be named to tackle the world championships in the Czech Republic, in August.