The Triggerfish Animation South African Adaptive Surfing Championship’s, hosted and organized by Durban based non-profit, Made for More and Surfing South Africa took place at New Pier in Durban on Sunday, the 5th of August. The waves on the day were highly contestable, with two to three foot set waves rolling through.
The vibe on the beach was absolutely electric. Twenty-seven competitors (22 South Africans, and 5 Internationals) hit the water to showcase their skill. The wheelchair access mats were rolled out and the accessible water chairs were ready to help out where needed, making the competition and the day fully inclusive for all surfers and spectators.
The event was truly something special to behold, and all who had the privilege of experiencing it were deeply humbled and left with a full heart. Spectators were inspired while contestants were admired for their bravery in the face of adversity as well as for their surfing abilities. The event was made possible through the love and support of Triggerfish Animation Studios, Surfing South Africa and Sports and Recreation South Africa.
Special mention to Anne Wright (contest director), Bongani Xulu (head judge and his panel) and Mike Frew (commentator) bringing it all together and making it happen on the day. We caught up with Mike to get his thoughts on the competition the following day, here’s what he had to say:
To the contestants, each and every one of you impacted someone’s life on the day and are set to inspire 100’s more in the future! Watching you shred and experience the primal freedom of the ocean is what surfing is all about. A massive congratulations to everyone and especially to all the newly crowned South African Adaptive Surfing Champions who competed. 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 the 12th to 16th of December 2018. In adaptive surfing, there are different categories to make it fair for all the surfers competing. The results were as follows:
AS-1 men (Surfers who ride waves in a standing or kneeling position and/or have upper limb or below the knee amputation)
1. J.P Veaudry (East London)
2. Adi Klang (Israel)
3. Antony Smyth (Cape Town)
4. David Feldman (Israel)
AS-1 women (Surfers who ride waves in a standing or kneeling position and/or have upper limb or below the knee amputation)
1. Grace Anderson (Cape Town)
2. Darian Bailey Haynes (Hawaii)
AS-2 men (Surfers who ride waves in a standing or kneeling position and have above the knee amputations)
1. Caleb Swanepoel (Cape Town)
2. Llywelyn Williams (Wales)
3. Tyler Pike (Cape Town)
4. Donovan Kanes (Cape Town)
AS-4 Men (Surfers who ride waves in a prone position)
1. Bruno Hansen (Denmark)
2. Daniel Nel (Cape Town)
3. Dries Millard (Cape Town)
AS-5 Men (Surfers who ride waves in any non-standing position, need assistance catching waves but must be independent on the wave)
1. Albert Rust (Cape Town)
2. Ashtan Davids (Cape Town)
AS-VI (Surfers who have a visual impairment or are blind)
1. Danito Mondlane (Durban)
2. Erynn Geddie (Durban)
The AS-1 men’s final 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 (Isreal) who managed to get second. Antony Smyth, although surfing the best throughout the early rounds, got third and David Feldman (Israel) got fourth. Following his impressive win, we got a hold of JP and fired a couple questions his way.