With just over two weeks to go before the inaugural ISA World Adaptive Surfing Championships presented by the Challenged Athletes Foundation, gets under way in California the South African Team of Dries Millard (Langebaan), Antony Smyth (Hout Bay), Jean Paul Veaudry (East London), Bruce Campbell (Durban) and Bongani Xulu (Ballito) is raring to represent their country at this inspirational event.
The South Africans will be part of an international field featuring 65 athletes from 17 countries across the world.
Over the last few months the members of the South African Team have been hard at work raising funds to make their dream of representing their country come true. All of them have had to raise their own funds to make the trip to the USA.
Dries Millard undertook an exhausting six week journey up the coast of South Africa which not only saw him surfing at some of the country’s most famous surf spots but also included presentations at a number of schools.
Millard, who lists Elands Bay on the Cape West Coast as his favourite surf spot, had a special surfboard made for his challenging road trip but the board broke in half during the latter part of his journey and he is waiting for a new surfboard to be completed in time for his trip to San Diego.
As the CEO of Extreme Abilities, an organisation that offers extreme sport opportunities to individuals with physical challenges, Millard has worked with Surfing South Africa on a number of Adapted surfing Clinics over the past five years and says that the possibilities that the future holds is his inspiration. The former rugby player plans to surf Dungeons, Cape Town’s big wave spot, sometime next year.
Ant Smyth was selected to represent the District of Cape Town at the recent South African Masters Championships in Richards Bay but was forced to withdraw due to a niggling injury. The Hout Bay based photographer who lists Super Tubes in Jeffreys Bay as his favourite surf spot, has declared himself fit and strong and is looking forward to taking his place in the La Jolla line-up at the World Championships. His wife Bev, who he credits as a major inspiration in his life, will travel to California with him.
Talented East London surfer JP Veaudry had to make a tough decision when the Surfing South Africa selectors invited him to represent South Africa at the World Championships. He had to decide whether to turn down the selection to spend time with his new born daughter or to earn his green blazer and travel to the USA. His daughter is due next week, just days before he flies to California. In the end he and his wife decided that he should represent his country and he will be dedicating his performance in the World Championships to his wife and daughter.
Bruce Campbell, the fourth member of the team, says he will always be a Muizenberg local despite the fact that he lists Durban as his home town and is currently living in New Zealand. Campbell, who captained the South African Whitewater rafting Team at the World Championships in Korea in 2007, will make the long flight from New Zealand to join his team mates on September 22nd.
Surfing South Africa Board Member Bongani Xulu will not only represent South Africa at the ISA meetings at the World Championships but has also been appointed as one of the ISA Officials during the four day event. Xulu, a Level 2 ISA Judge and a qualified ISA Coach, is a Lifeguard Supervisor by trade. The Ballito local lists Nelson Mandela as his role model and Jadson Andre and Jordy Smith as his favourite surfers.
Anyone wishing to support the team can contact Surfing South Africa at [email protected]
The ISA World Adaptive Surfing Championships gets under way from 8am with an Adaptive Surfing Clinic at La Jolla Shores on Thursday September 24th.
This will be followed by the Opening Ceremony at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion in Balboa Park at 5pm
The Championship heats begin at 8am on Friday September 25th and end on Sunday September 27th. The whole event can be watched via live webcast by going to www.isasurf.org.
An Adaptive Surfing Symposium featuring keynote speakers about the future development of Adaptive Surfing will take place at the Challenged Athletes Foundation headquarters on Saturday September 25th and on Sunday the competition Finals will be completed at La Jolla Shores to culminate with the event’s Medal and Closing Ceremony.
About Surfing South Africa
Surfing South Africa is the official governing body for surfriding in South Africa and is a member of the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC). SSA is a member of the International surfing Association (ISA). To learn more about Surfing South Africa go to www.surfingsouthafrica.co.za
About the International Surfing Association
The International Surfing Association (ISA) is recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as the World Governing Authority for Surfing, StandUp Paddle (SUP) Surfing and Racing and all other wave riding activities. The ISA has been crowning World Champions in surfing since 1964, with the ultimate mission to develop surfing globally. To learn more, visit www.isasurf.org.
About the Challenged Athletes Foundation
The Challenged Athletes Foundation® (CAF) is a world leader in helping people with physical challenges lead active, healthy lifestyles. CAF believes that participation in physical activity at any level increases self-esteem, encourages independence and enhances quality of life. Since 1994, more than $64 million has been raised and over 11,000 funding requests from people with physical challenges in all 50 states and dozens of countries have been satisfied. To learn more, visit challengedathletes.org or call 858-866-0959.
Robin de Kock
Surfing South Africa
For all enquiries contact
Surfing South Africa at 0824541149 or [email protected]