Surfing is one of those things that usually takes all your facilities.Arms, legs, sight, sound, feel… they all come into play. But there are some that have lost some of those abilities, and it doesn’t stop them. Bethany Hamilton is probably the most well-known, with Mike Coots a close second. The ISA World Adaptive Surfing Championship showcases a whole lot more.
Held at La Jolla Shores, 69 surfers from 18 countries showed up to compete at the World Adaptive Surfing Championships, making it the biggest contest of its kind ever held. Included in the contest were Antony Smyth, a South African surfer who has a paralyzed right arm. With a two wave total of 16.77, he’s going on to the finals, hoping for gold.
Perhaps the most incredible performer of the event was Lucas Retamales, a Chilean surfer who is blind. After the recent tsunami in Chile, Retamales lost his surfboard, and wowed the crowd on a borrowed board, sensing waves, and getting incredibly long rides.
“The first round of competition was absolutely amazing!” said ISAPresident Fernando Aguerre. “Seeing all of the athletes on the beach cheering and rooting for their country and the other countries was so inspirational. Every one of these athletes has a unique story that has led them to this ISA World Championship. It is a beautiful thing to see them in one place, forming new friendships and paving the road for the future growth and development of Adaptive Surfing around the world.”
Kudos to all those that turned out, and to the ISA for running a great event!
Watch the final day of competition, Sunday, September 27th LIVE WEBCAST via