Brothers set for Kiteboarding nationals in Safety Bay

Brothers set for Kiteboarding nationals in Safety Bay

TWO brothers will roll, spin and loop their way towards championship titles at this year’s Cocos Keeling Islands & Zephyr Tours Australian Freestyle Kiteboarding Nationals (AFKN) in Safety Bay.

Some 20 to 30 competitors are expected to take part in the Freestyle competition on January 27 and an expected 40 competitors will participate in the Big Air competition on January 28.

Emerson Johnston (19) said he was excited for the freestyle competition, especially with it being in WA, where the weather conditions were good.

Manager of surf shop WA Surf, Emerson said his younger brother, Harrison Johnston (17), would be his biggest competition on the day.

The Rockingham pair have competed individually in the AFKN event in previous years.

Last year, Emerson placed fourth and Harrison fifth at the AFKN Nationals.

“We practise together at The Pond all the time, which is fun, and it’s good to always have that constant motivation,” Emerson said.

He said he hoped to take out the champion title but it would not be an easy task.

“There’s a bigger name on the water unfortunately, so it’s not going to be easy for any of us to beat the competition favourite, Ewan Jaspan,” he said.

Emerson said his plans for the future were to keep riding and stay injury-free.

“One day I’d like to take the Australian champion title home, which would be cool, but I think I have a few more years of learning before I can take that one”.

The AFKN event will be held in Safety Bay at The Pond on the Australia Day weekend.

The timing of the competitions will be dependent on the weather forecast.

Premier Mark McGowan will open the event at 10.30am on January 25 and Minister for Sport and Recreation Mick Murray will close the event at 5pm on January 28.

The top prize on the day is an AFKN champion trophy and an all- expenses paid, seven-day trip to the Cocos Keeling Islands, which will be awarded to one male and one female competitor.