Mono nabs third title
BYRON Bay surfer Mark "Mono” Stewart won his division at the Australian Adaptive Surfing Titles at Cabarita Beach on Saturday.
Stewart has now won it three times in the AS2 Stand/kneel part of the competition.
He has been a driving force in adaptive surfing in recent years having lost his leg to cancer as a teenager growing up in Mullumbimby.
"This is the third Nudie Australian Adaptive Surfing Titles on the Tweed Coast and it's great to see companies like Nudie staying on board and supporting the adaptive surfing community,” he said.
"We have grown massively as a sport and in the end, it's all about the ocean and its ability to heal and equalise. It makes you feel at home and I just love it.”
Stewart won bronze at the ISA World Adaptive Surfing Championships at California last year.
He will represent the Australian team again later this year.
"We had really good waves on the day and I'm glad the organisers moved the comp to a really solid break for the competition,” he said.
"Some times organisers go for smaller gentler waves when it comes to adaptive comps but it was really pumping with solid 4-6ft waves by the afternoon.
"It was a huge event with plenty of potential adaptive surfers there on the beach who came along to have a look.
Mr Stewart also singled out fellow surfer Garrett Parkes for his ski support at the event on the day.
Great conditions greeted competitors on the final day at Cabarita Surf Club, allowing the field of more than 20 adaptive surfers to show their skills across a multitude of divisions.
Sam Bloom won her AS5 women's division.
"I starting surfing when I was about five years old in primary school and I just use my weight to get over the inside rail, kind of like skating I guess,” Bloom said.
"It's great to see the adaptive spirit in full flight today at Cabarita,” Surfing Australia's general manager Jake White said.
Other winners were Dale Taylor, Kate Sawford, David Munk, Gavin Bells, Barney Miller, Dean McSporran and Matt Formston.
All surfers have gained selection in the Australian adaptive team.