Brazil have been crowned world champions for the second year running at the 2017 Stance ISA World Adaptive Surfing Championship.
After four days of competition, the event wrapped up at La Jolla with Australia taking the silver medal and Team USA the bronze. Leading the gold medal performance in the AS-2 Division for Brazil was Alcino Neto. He said: “This Team Gold Medal will inspire so many others to get into the sport in Brazil and around the world.
“This was my aim since I started promoting the sport with the ISA over 20 years ago. This Gold Medal is not only for me, but for everyone who participated this week. Never in my life did I think this event would become a reality and grow so much, let alone win the Gold Medal.”
As well as the world champions being crowned, there was a whole range of historic results at this year's competition. In total, 11 world champions were crowned including Denmark's Bruno Hansen, who has now become the sole adaptive surfer with three consecutive world titles. And, the first ever women adaptive surfing champions were crowned.
Amongst them was Israel's Adi Klang, who won his country's first ever ISA gold medal. He said: “It’s an unbelievable feeling. My original goal was to earn a medal, and I realized when I qualified for the Final that my goal was accomplished, so I thought “Why not go for the Gold?” I gave a fight till the end and ended up winning the Gold. I am 50-years-old, so being on this podium has made me feel great. This has given me confidence and made me realize that I can still compete with young surfers.”
Hawaii’s Ann Yoshida (AS-4) and Ava Heller (AS-5), USA’s Alana Nichols (AS-3) and Dani Burt (AS-2), and Japan’s Kazune Uchida (AS-1) wrote their names in the history books and earned the first ever individual Adaptive Women’s Gold Medalists.
“I don’t know how my life turned out this way, but I think the timing couldn’t be more fortunate for me to win the first-ever waveski division,” said Alana Nichols. “I am in awe of how far we’ve come and I am so proud of the women that were out there today. It takes a lot of courage to paddle out on a waveski.”
At the closing ceremony, ISA president Fernando Aguerre said: ““I hope that you all go home and tell stories because we made history this week in La Jolla at the biggest edition of the event to date. We saw the first Women’s Divisions ever take to the water and earn the first Gold Medals in the sport.
“Some of you will get medals, some of you will not, but remember all of you are champions. Don’t forget it. Remember what you accomplished this week and be proud that you are part of the Adaptive Surfing movement.”
1 (Gold) – Brazil
2 (Silver) – Australia
3 (Bronze) – USA
4 (Copper) – Chile
5 – Hawaii
6 – South Africa
7 – Costa Rica
8 – France
9 – Japan
10 – Italy
For full results, go HERE.