Sole Aussie competitor scores at adaptive surfing champs
The world’s best in adaptive surfing showed up at the 2nd Annual US Open Surfing Championships last week in Oceanside California, on the south side of Oceanside Pier.
The comp ran over three days, with Byron Bay’s Mark ‘Mono’ Stewart the only Aussie representing amongst the 80 competitors from 22 nations.
He did us proud – holding onto the US Open Adaptive Championship Title with a hard-fought win in extremely testing conditions.
Hurricane Sergio was hanging around just off the Mexican coast, ensuring a tough few days for competitors with big surf and strong onshore windy conditions from mid-morning each day. The conditions were rough for many athletes, with a high injury count, including a broken tibia for one unfortunate surfer.
“This year, I really felt the pressure to win again and with the heavy Hurricane Sergio swell, conditions were far from good most days,” Mark said. “The sense of relief after the final horn went was massive and so stoked that Huey gave me the waves to perform.”
Prior to the comp, the crew held a Kids Coaching clinic, which Mark also attended. “It’s one of the most important parts of all events worldwide now,” he explained. “It’s an opportunity for us athletes to share and pass on our knowledge to help the multitude of disabled children get into the ocean and fast track their surfing ability.”
“The smile on their faces when they catch that first wave is worth all the effort.”
Mark will go on now to try and win his third World Adaptive Title at the next event, the International Surfing Associations (ISA) World Adaptive Surfing Championships at La Jolla Shores, California. You got this Mono!