Byron Bay’s Mark ‘Mono’ Stewart made history by winning the first ISA World Adaptive Surfing Championship in California in 2015 and plans to defend his crown later this year.
After winning it last year he said: ‘I’ve been waiting 35 years for this event, but I now know that the sky is the limit with Adaptive Surfing. The future is in the hands of all the young people at this event. I can’t wait to see what happens next.’
In June this year he competed in the first Australian adaptive surfing titles and took out two divisions to qualify for the 2016 world titles to be held at La Jolla, California, for the second consecutive year.
Stewart, along with the world’s best adaptive surfers with physical challenges ranging from vision impairment to spinal cord injuries, will head to La Jolla Shores to represent their countries and compete for individual and team medals over December 8–11.
Mono has a long history of competing in kneeboard events and has represented the Far North Coast region at the Australian Titles competing against able-bodied surfers.
He also recently won the 10th Duke Oceanfest in the Adaptive Surf division held in August at Waikiki in Hawaii.
When ‘Mono’ was fifteen he was told by doctors he had bone cancer and went through a year and a half of chemotherapy before surgeons removed his right leg above the knee.
Soli v Kennedy
Soli Bailey has moved down six spots into 23rd position on the WSL Qualifying Series ratings ladder after the first of the final two events in Hawaii.
Bailey was unfortunately eliminated in his first heat at the Hawaiian Pro at Haleiwa and now only has one more opportunity to post a great result in his bid to make the top ten and qualify for the ‘Dream Tour’.
He has drawn Lennox Head’s Stuart Kennedy in his first heat at the Vans World Cup at Sunset Beach, the final stop of WSL Qualifying Series.
After doing the maths I estimated Soli needs a fourth place finish or better at Sunset Beach to make the cut while Kennedy will need a second place or win to re-qualify through the QS.
However Kennedy is looking good to qualify on the Championship Tour, currently sitting in eighteenth with the last CT event for the year at Pipeline.