On 17 September Watergate Bay in Cornwall hosted England’s first ever Adaptive Surfing Open. Being the first of its kind in England, the event proved momentous and followed a global push to celebrate and provide for adaptive surfing.
Organised by Surfing England in collaboration with partners, the event saw 18 adaptive surfers from the UK, USA, Italy and France compete across five divisions. These divisions were based on their functional surfing ability; Prone Division, Sitting/kneeling Division, Assisted Division, Open Division and Standing Division. See the results here.
Of the contest, event manager Nick Rees said:
Today was a momentous day that’s been a long time coming. Surfing as a sport holds many possibilities but seeing the impact of today’s event is reminder that it’s more than just a sport. We hope that people across England take inspiration from what’s been achieved here today, we certainly have and are committed to ensuring this event is a firm fixture on our annual national events schedule.
Earlier last year we spoke to a team of designers from Wales who created the Surf Access Vehicle and a tandem-seated surfboard. These are now being used around the coast to help disabled children access the water and experience surfing.