Jack, Dave, Amy and Sam Lester are members of Bundaberg Surf Life Saving Club.
Jack, Dave, Amy and Sam Lester are members of Bundaberg Surf Life Saving Club. Scottie Simmonds BUNLIF

Young guns swap allegiances

CONGRATULATIONS to local surf lifesavers Bonnie Stehbens (Bundaberg), Jeremy Rethamel (Bundaberg) and Benjamin Davis (Moore Park) who have all been drafted into the Northern Territory State Surf Lifesaving Team to compete at the 2012 SLSA National Interstate Championships in Sydney on January 22-23.

Despite being dyed-in-the-wool Queenslanders, they will all be trying their best to claim some high-profile Queensland and New South Wales scalps while competing for NT - and who knows they might even cause a few upsets along the way.

But hopefully their results for NT will assist Braydon Batt (Elliott Heads) and his Queensland team to a back-to-back win in the interstate championships!

All three will be expected to perform well in the pool rescue competition events, especially Stehbens and Rethamel who are both national medallists in these specialty events.

They will also compete in the ocean events, with Davis expected to be competitive in the board and ironman events in particular.

The trio will also be joined by Julie Davis (Moore Park) who will travel with the youngsters in a coaching/chaperone role with the team.

The attention this weekend will turn to Elliott Heads SLSC which will host the 2012 Wide Bay Capricorn Branch Surf Rescue Championships on Saturday.

About 70 competitors from across the region, and representing the Hervey Bay, Elliott Heads, Bundaberg, Tannum Sands, Emu Park and Yeppoon surf life saving clubs, will compete this weekend in three events - champion lifesaver, first aid competition and patrol competition.

Competition will be held in the under 14, 15, 17, 19, open and Masters age categories this weekend with the Bundaberg and Elliott Heads clubs representing the local area this weekend.

The pressure will be on though, with qualifying spots for the 2012 Queensland Surf Rescue Championships up for grabs to the winners of each event.

The Bundaberg SLSC in particular will boast the best chances of success this weekend by being represented in almost all categories of competition.

Leading the way for the Bundaberg club will be their 2011 Australian Championships bronze medallist Brodie Johnston who will step out of the under-15 age category and into the tougher under-17 age category this year.

But this should not stop his winning ways.

Bundaberg will have many other chances across all champion lifesaver categories, with perhaps their leading chances being Abby Dunkley and Abigail Johnston (under-14), Emma Finnis and Hayley Bowman (under-17), Jamie Findlay (open), Erin Gibson (open) and Lexie Towner (Masters).

Bundaberg should also dominate both the patrol competition and first aid competition disciplines as well with teams entered in all categories except the under-15 first aid competition.

Elliott Heads SLSC will also be represented by Liam Wootton (under-14), Scott Heaton (under-15), Trent Heaton (under-17), Amanda Muldoon (open) and Toni Heaton (Masters), with all having great chances of medalling across the weekend.

Competition will start at 8.30am on Saturday.

Also competing this weekend, but on the Gold Coast at Tugun Beach, will be the Bundaberg SLSC surf boat crews who will compete in Round 1 of the Aussie Bum Queensland Cup Surf Boat Series.

Representing the club this Saturday will be the open men's and open women's crews, with the under-19 crew enjoying some time off over the Christmas period.

Round 2 of the Sizzler Oceans 38 Series will also be held this weekend at Broadbeach, but there will be no local surf lifesavers competing.



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