ADAPTIVE: Mark Mono Stewart on his way to Silver in the World Adaptive Surfing Competition.
ADAPTIVE: Mark Mono Stewart on his way to Silver in the World Adaptive Surfing Competition. Chris Grant

Silver medal for Mono at surfing championships

BYRON Bay's Mark 'Mono' Stewart has finished the year on a high with a silver medal at the the 2018 Stance ISA World Adaptive Surfing Championship at Huntington Beach in California.

Despite facing health issues during the competion Mono said he was stoked with a silver medal after winning the event twice before in 2016 and 2017.

"It's not the outcome I was chasing but I'll get my health issues sorted at home and maybe come back to give it another crack," Mono said.

"Congratulations to all my my team mates, who took medals and achieved personal bests and did Australia proud.

"Huge thanks to my wife Debbie Stewart, our manager Alyssa and coach Josh, Fernado and all the ISA staff, paramedics, Surfing Australia and my huge adaptive surfing family from around the world.

ADAPTIVE: Mark Mono Stewart and his wife Debbie at the ASA World Surfing Championships.
ADAPTIVE: Mark Mono Stewart and his wife Debbie at the ASA World Surfing Championships. Contributed

"The support from all my FB friends was amazing and helped me through the challenging last few days.

"It's been a fantastic few weeks but looking forward to getting home."

Fellow Byron Bay surfer Dave Monk came fourth in the AS-3 division. The Australian team came sixth overall.

2018 has been a huge year for Mono racking up victory in August in his division at Dukes Ocean Fest Championships in Hawaii.

In July won his division at the Australian Adaptive Surfing Titles at Cabarita Beach which was the third time he had won the AS-2 Stand/kneel division.

Mono has been a driving force in adaptive surfing in recent years having lost his leg to cancer as a teenager growing up in Mullumbimby.

Mono was up against more than 100 competitors from more than 21 countries this year.

The ISA Surfing Championships were created to give surfers with physical challenges an opportunity to compete and display their talents in a Paralympic-style, world-class competition.

ISA President Fernando Aguerre praised all the competitors at this year's event.

"We watched the sport of adaptive surfing progress before our eyes," he said. "Most importantly, we had a record number of competitors and women participating in the event, spreading the sport to new surfers around the globe.

"Adaptive surfing has a healing power that has proven to have a positive impact in the lives of those with physical challenges, so we hope to keep growing the sport to make the world a better place, one surfer at a time.

"The high-performance action that we witnessed this week leaves me with no doubt that adaptive surfing would be a valuable addition to the Paralympic Games."


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