Ricochet News

SA surfers take on the World Adaptive Surfing Championship in the US

Sep 26, 2015
SA surfers take on the World Adaptive Surfing Championship in the US

At the age of five, a car accident left Antony Smyth with a paralysed arm. This weekend he captains South Africa at the inaugural World Adaptive Surfing Championship in California.

The South Africans - Smyth (Hout Bay), Dries Millard (Langebaan), Jean Paul Veaudry (East London) and Bruce Campbell (Durban); and contest judge Bongani Xulu (Ballito) - have overcome various disabilities to become the first team to represent their country in adaptive surfing.

"They are all incredible people and athletes. We are up there with the best in the world and I believe we have a shot at gold," Smyth said from La Jolla beach near San Diego, where 65 athletes and officials from 17 countries are participating.

The medical term for the injury he suffered as a youngster is termed Brachial Plexus. “I cannot move my fingers, hand or wrist. I have no rotation or extension ability in my elbow or upper arm," he said.

Team mate Millard has been a paraplegic since he was 18, also from a car crash. The accident left him with little chance of surfing again, but he joins his comrades later today to officially receive his national colours from SA surfing legend Shaun Tomson.

Millard is well known for his travels around South Africa introducing the sport to the physically and mentally challenged. During his roadshow, he surfed 35 of the country’s best waves while raising funds for the team to travel to this event.

The event takes place from 5pm today South African time.


IMAGE sourced from surfingsouthafrica.co.za