Local Byron Bay surfers Dave Munk and Mark ‘Mono’ Stewart had great success with both winning their divisions at the nudie Australian Adaptive Surfing Titles held at Kingscliff on the Tweed Coast over the weekend.
Small but clean conditions allowed the field of 22 adaptive athletes to showcase their ability, including a historic first-ever women’s heat.
Munk won the AS3 division, which is for surfers who ride waves in a seated position, while Stewart won the AS2 division for surfers who ride waves in a standing or kneeling position.
‘Mono’ Stewart needed all his competitive experience to overcome a strong field in the AS2 final with wave selection really becoming critical.
He defeated fellow seasoned ISA competitor Jade Wheatley (second), Steven Lovell (third) and Ben Tirabosco (fourth).
The AS4 Women (Prone) and AS5 (Assist) divisions were won by South Australian Amanda Jane.
The adaptive athletes conform to the same criteria as the world’s top professional surfers, which is to ‘perform radical controlled manoeuvres in the critical sections of a wave with speed, power and flow. Innovative/progressive surfing as well as the combination and variety of repertoire will be taken into consideration when rewarding points for a surfer’s performance’.
Results from this competition contribute to selection in Team Australia to compete at the International Surfing Association (ISA) World Adaptive Surfing Championships at La Jolla, California in late November, 2017.