Twelve Individual Gold Medalists and Team World Champion to Be Crowned at 2018 Stance ISA World Adaptive Surfing Championship

Posted - News Posted for Adaptive Surfing, ISA News, USA News, World Surfing News.

Team USA leads in the team ranking, looking for first-ever Team Gold; Team Brazil and Chile trail

USA’s Sarah Bettencourt earns highest wave score and heat total of the event in Women’s AS-4

Brazil’s Jonathan Borba continues to impress with highest heat total in the open divisions

Meira Duarte (HAW) and Samantha Bloom (AUS) guaranteed medals in the Open and Women Divisions 

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Through four days of competition the 2018 Stance ISA World Adaptive Surfing Championship presented by the City of San Diego is set to award the Gold Medals in La Jolla, USA.

South Africa’s Antony Smyth cruising into the AS-1 Semifinal. Photo: ISA / Sean Evans

South Africa’s Antony Smyth cruising into the AS-1 Semifinal. Photo: ISA / Sean Evans

Twelve individual and the Team World Champions will be crowned during an action-packed string of Finals on Sunday.

Team Brazil comes in as the two-time defending champion, currently sitting in second position heading into the final day. Team USA currently holds a lead in potential points and will look to earn their first-ever Team Gold in the event.

Team Chile, having earned the Bronze Medal in 2016 and the Copper in 2017, currently holds the Bronze Medal position and will look to move up in the medal rankings.

With twelve divisions to be contested on Sunday, the team rankings are still wide open for the team that has a strong showing on the final day.

USA’s Sarah Bettencourt put on the best performance of the event thus far in the Women’s AS-4 Division. Bettencourt’s wave total of 9.27 and heat total of 17.27 were the top marks among all the competitors through the first four days of the world championship.

“That 9.27 felt so good!” said Bettencourt. “That was the first time that I was able to see the lip coming and carve up to hit it. It’s amazing that in competition was the first time I did that.

“This world champion has motivated me and got me excited again to surf.

“I’ve learned that no matter what language you speak or what disability you have, we all have the same love of the ocean and sport. The love and desire to grow the sport among all countries and genders is consistent among all of us.”

Brazil’s Jonathan Borba continued his impressive run throughout the event with a heat total of 14.17,  the highest of the day in the open divisions. Borba will look to propel Team Brazil into the lead with a Gold Medal on Sunday.

Hawaii’s Meira Duarte (AS-3) and Australia’s Samantha Bloom (AS-5) have both been guaranteed two medals for the final day of competition, having qualified for the open and women’s divisions finals.

England’s Charlotte Banfield aims to earn Team England’s first adaptive surfing Gold Medal on finals day in the Women’s AS-1 Division. Photo: ISA / Chris Grant

England’s Charlotte Banfield aims to earn Team England’s first adaptive surfing Gold Medal on finals day in the Women’s AS-1 Division. Photo: ISA / Chris Grant

The fourth day of competition kicked off in continued clean conditions at La Jolla Shores. The world’s best adaptive surfers took to the water with their sights set on qualifying for the final day of competition.

Among the defending world champions to qualify for a chance to repeat their titles on Sunday are Denmark’s Bruno Hansen and Japan’s Kazune Uchida. Hansen, the only adaptive surfer with three individual Gold Medals to his name, will look to add to his medal count in the AS-4 Division and Uchida, the first Japanese adaptive surfing World Champion, will look to build upon her historic performance from 2017 in the Women’s AS-1 Division.

Kazune Uchida earned the first adaptive surfing Gold Medal for Japan in 2017, set to defend her title on Sunday. Photo: ISA / Chris Grant

Kazune Uchida earned the first adaptive surfing Gold Medal for Japan in 2017, set to defend her title on Sunday. Photo: ISA / Chris Grant

On the final day of competition history will also be made as the first visually impaired women World Champion will be crowned. Canada’s Ling Pai, England’s Melisa Reid, Spain’s Carmen Garcia, and Portugal’s Marta Jordão Paço are set to dispute the medals.

Team France’s 2017 Silver Medalist Eric Dargent, a shark attack survivor from Reunion Island, advanced into the Open AS-1 Semifinals, however his run came to an end in the Semis. Dargent spoke about what adaptive surfing has done for his life.

“France has never won a Gold Medal in this world championship, but we are looking for our first this year,” said Dargent.

“After I was attacked by a shark, the first thing I asked my doctor was how soon I could get back to surfing, not how fast I could get back to walking. Keeping balance in my life with adaptive surfing is really important.

“I want to show the world that amputees are able to surf standing up.”

France’s Eric Dargent came just short of earning a medal in 2018, but he will be present on Sunday to support the global adaptive surfing community. Photo: ISA / Sean Evans

France’s Eric Dargent came just short of earning a medal in 2018, but he will be present on Sunday to support the global adaptive surfing community. Photo: ISA / Sean Evans

ISA President Fernando Aguerre said:

“The beach was packed with fans and supporters today. The international adaptive surfing community was out in full force to cheer on the world’s best as they pushed on towards the medal rounds on Sunday.

“We have arrived at the moment that we’ve been waiting for. The months of training, dedication, camaraderie and national pride will culminate tomorrow during the finals as dreams are made with Gold Medals.

“With an increase in swell on the way, we can expect quite the show from these incredible athletes.”

The 2018 Stance ISA World Adaptive Surfing Championship is streamed live daily on www.isasurf.org.

The remaining schedule is as follows: 

Sunday, December 16

  • Competition at La Jolla Shores, 8:00am
  • Closing Ceremony at La Jolla Shores following the competition Finals
About The International Surfing Association:

The International Surfing Association (ISA), founded in 1964, is recognized by the International Olympic Committee as the World Governing Authority for Surfing. The ISA governs and defines Surfing as Shortboard, Longboard & Bodyboarding, StandUp Paddle (SUP) Racing and Surfing, Bodysurfing, Wakesurfing, and all other wave riding activities on any type of waves, and on flat water using wave riding equipment. The ISA crowned its first Men's and Women's World Champions in 1964. It crowned the first Big Wave World Champion in 1965; World Junior Champion in 1980; World Kneeboard Champions in 1982; World Longboard Surfing and World Bodyboard Champions in 1988; World Tandem Surfing Champions in 2006; World Masters Champions in 2007; and World StandUp Paddle (SUP, both surfing and racing) and Paddleboard Champions in 2012.

ISA membership includes the surfing National Federations of 106 countries on five continents. The ISA is presided over by Fernando Aguerre (ARG). The Executive Committee includes four Vice-Presidents Karín Sierralta (PER), Kirsty Coventry (ZIM), Casper Steinfath (DEN) and Barbara Kendall (NZL), Athletes' Commission Chair Justine Dupont (FRA), Regular Members Atsushi Sakai (JPN) and Jean Luc Arassus (FRA) and ISA Executive Director Robert Fasulo as Ex-officio Member.

Its headquarters are located in La Jolla, California (USA).

For more information, please visit www.isasurf.org