Mono Wins at First Australian Championships
It was a big day for Australia’s first national title competitors at the inaugural nudie Australia Adaptive Surfing Titles. Cabarita Beach on the NSW north coast was the idyllic location for the event with fun waves and great conditions for the surfers.
The three-day event included an Adaptive Surfers of Australia (ASA) Forum, Adaptive Surfing Coaching Clinic and a day of competition surfing that decided the Australian Titles.
Mono was one of the standout competitors of the event and easily took out the AS2 division with a heat total of 12.66 to give himself a shot at back to back ISA World Adaptive Titles later in the year when the team travels to California to take on the rest of the world.
Newcomer Dale Taylor (NSW) stormed the field to take out the final in the AS1 division, posting a total of 13.33 to take down fellow New South Welshmen Jade ‘Red’ Wheatley (8.63), Mark Bell (8.30) and Jake Matthews (7.33).
Taylor produced a series of complete manoeuvres to post the two highest single wave scores of the final(6.83 and 6.50) to leave his competition in a combination situation.“Not in my wildest dreams could I have imagined at the beginning of the week being the nudie Australian Adaptive Surfing Champion, so I am completely over the moon,” Taylor said.
In arguably the most inspiring story of the day, former Paralympian Dave Munk qualified for the Australian Adaptive Surf Team after taking out the Prone Category. In doing so Munk joins Taylor and Wheatley along with defending Adaptive World Champion Mark ‘Mono’ Stewart in Aussie Colours.
Munk has only just taken up the sport again after several years out of the water and was stoked with the entire event. “I have only just got back in the water and maybe done 40 hours surfing so to make the Australian team is amazing and I look forward to competing at the world championships. It has been a great few days up here(Cabarita),” Munk said.
Congratulations to Surfing Australia and Nudie on hosting the event and providing an inspirational new pathway for these amazing athletes and adaptive surfing in Australia.
MIXED DIVISION FINAL RESULTS
1st Mark Stewart 9.67
2nd Dave Munk 7.6
3rd Dean McSporren 6.13
AS1 FINAL RESULTS
1st Dale Taylor 13.33
2nd Jade Wheatley 8.63
3rd Mark Bell 8.3O
4th Jake Matthews 7.33