England holds first ever Adaptive Surfing Open

September 18, 2017 | Surfing
2017 English Adaptive Surfing Open: the first edition attracted 18 surfers | Photo: Surfing England

England's first ever Adaptive Surfing Open took place in the stormy seas of Watergate Bay in Cornwall.

Eighteen adaptive surfers from the UK, USA, Italy, and France competed across five divisions to take the inaugural titles.

The event, which was the first of its kind here in England, follows a global push to celebrate and provide for adaptive surfing.

An integral and developing part of the sport for surfers with a variety of disabilities, and an area lead by the world governing body, the international surfing association.

The surfers competed in divisions based on their functional surfing ability: Prone Division, Sitting/kneeling Division, Assisted Division, Open Division and Standing Division.

The conditions were less than ideal with autumnal low pressures kicking the sea into motion and heavy rain, but nothing would dampen the spirits of the surfers as they enjoyed a day of rivalry and socializing.

As contest organizers sought to learn for the development of adaptive surfing, as well as identifying potential Team England athletes for the upcoming World Adaptive Surfing Games, in California.

"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 a reminder that it's more than just a sport," said Nick Rees, event manager.

"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."

Surfing England has worked in collaboration with partners Surfability UK, The Wave Project, Help for Heroes, Operation Surf, The Endeavour Fund and The Wave to put the event on and ensure a positive experience was had by all.

2017 English Adaptive Surfing Open | Results

1. Benoit Moreau
2. Pegleg Bennet
3. Michael Taylor
4. Charlotte Weston
5. Louis Sutton
5. October Hamlyn-Wright
7. Laurent Marouf
7. Fabio Secci

1. Martin Pollock
2. Ethan Jolosa

1. Bruno Hanson
2. Spike Kane

1. Sponge Williams
2. Jake Green
3. Martin Pollock
4. Spike Kane

1. Benoit Moreau
2. Yannis Karakousis
3. Jeremy Waite
4. Laurent Marouf
5. Gemma Gibson