Johnston Family a Trio of Champions; Wendy, Kids Brodie and Abby Come to Rescue

Article excerpt

Byline: Vince Habermann

SURF LIFESAVING: The 2011-12 Wide Bay Capricorn Branch Surf Rescue Championships at Elliott Heads on the weekend were a red-letter occasion for Bundaberg's Johnston family.

Bundaberg Surf Life Saving Club youth development officer and safety officer Wendy Johnston and her two children Brodie and Abby each won their divisions of the champion lifesaver event.

Champion lifesaver is regarded as the true test of surf life saving, with assessment across six sections a surf race, rescue board and tube, and beach sprint, theory paper and resuscitations live on both a patient and a manikin.

Wendy, a dual Queensland bronze medallist last season in the surf swim and rescue tube, triumphed in the 30-39 years female category.

Brodie, who claimed state silver and national bronze in the under-15 male division last year, as well as snaring state bronze in the surf board race, stepped up to own the under-17 male age group.

Not to be outdone, Abby beat clubmate Abby Dunkley to clinch under-14 female honours.

The Bundaberg club had just three other champion lifesavers a Kellie Bailey, Emma Finnis and Rebecca Payne in the under-19, under-17 and under-15 female divisions respectively, but Hayley Bowman gave them another quinella in under-17s.

Wendy trailed Alesha Hotz, of Yeppoon, after the theory but outscored her by four points in resuscitation to finish with 94 points and win by one.

Brodie finished third in the theory but won the four surf and beach events, then sealed the title with an impressive resuscitation display, finishing with 99 points, 5.5 clear of runner-up Connor Murray, of Hervey Bay.

Abby opened up a handy lead after the theory and despite finishing second to Yeppoon's Shari Osborne in the surf race and rescue tube and to Dunkley in the sprint and third behind Dunkley and Osborne in rescue board, she secured victory in resuscitation.

She chalked up 95.5 points to defeat Dunkley by 7. …