Adaptive surfing champs crowned

Julia Van Zyl, event organiser and water assistant coach, coming out the water after Danito Mondlane (blind surfer) took the win to become the new South African Adaptive Surfing Champion in the AS-VI division. PHOTO: Dianne Parkes

THE Triggerfish Animation South African Adaptive Surfing Championships, hosted and organised by Durban-based non-profit company, Made for More and Surfing South Africa, took place at New Pier in Durban on Sunday, 5 August.

The waves were fun and contestable, with two to three foot set waves rolling through the iconic New Pier.

“The vibe on the beach was absolutely electric. We had a total of 27 competitors, 22 South Africans and five internationals showcasing their skill in the water. The wheelchair access mats were out and the accessible water chairs were ready to rock to make the competition and the day fully inclusive for all surfers and spectators,” said Julia van Zyl from Made for More.

Van Zyl said spectators had been inspired by the contestants who were admired and honoured for their bravery and surfing abilities. “Watching them shred and experience the stoke and the freedom of the ocean is why we do what we do. Well done to everyone and especially to all our newly crowned South African Adaptive Surfing Champions,” she said.

In Adaptive Surfing, there are different categories to make it fair for all the surfers competing.

The AS-1 men division, for surfers who ride waves in a standing or kneeling position and/or have upper limb or below the knee amputation, was heavily stacked with one past and one current world champion competing as well as a national champion. In the dying minutes of the heat, JP Veandry from East London managed to get the wave of the heat with an 8.5, to beat current World Champion, Adi Klang from Israel.

ALSO READ: Blind surfer takes on pros … and wins!

The AS-1 women was won by Grace Anderson (Cape Town), the AS-2 men, for surfers who ride waves in a standing or kneeling position and have above the knee amputations, was won by Caleb Swanepoel (Cape Town), the AS-4 Men, for surfers who ride waves in a prone position, was won by Bruno Hansen (Denmark), the AS-5 Men, for surfers who ride waves in any non-standing position, need assistance catching waves but must be independent on the wave, was won by Albert Rust (Cape Town) and the AS-VI, for surfers who have a visual impairment or are blind, was won by Danito Mondlane (Durban) with second place going to Erynn Geddie (Durban).

From this event, the South African Adaptive Surfing Team will be chosen to compete in the ISA World Adaptive Surfing Champs in La Jolla in San Diego, California from 12 to 16 December.

 

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  AUTHOR
Lauren Walford
Journalist

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