Maui Adaptive Surfers Win Big at 2021 Para Surfing Championships
Four Maui adaptive surfers brought home top-three finishes at the 2021 Toyota USA Surfing Para Surfing Championship competition and team trials in Oceanside, California last week. The event was the first major para surfing competition to take place in the United States since COVID-19 shutdowns began.
“Our Maui team worked hard to train independently, and brought the aloha spirit and stoke to Oceanside,” said Executive Director of AccesSurf Cara Short.
The Maui surfers who made it within the top three in their divisions:
- 1st Place – Faith Lennox (Makawao) – Para Surf Stand 1 division made up surfers that ride standing with an upper limb amputation or an impairment equivalent.
- 1st Place – Josh Bogle (Haʻikū) – Para Surf Kneel division made up surfers with an above-the-knee amputation or both lower limb amputations or congenital or impairment equivalent.
- 1st Place – Aaron Paulk (Makawao) – Vision Impaired division made up of surfers with a visual impairment.
- 3rd Place – Shawn Lewis (Maui) – Para Surf Stand 2 division mad eup of surfers that ride standing with a lower body impairment below the knee.
Darien Haynes, a member of the Hawaiʻi Adaptive Surf Team, was selected for the 2021 Team USA Para Surf Team, which will compete in International Surfing Association this year.
Team Hawaiʻi placed fourth in the world at the 2020 AmpSurf ISA World Para Surfing Championships and brought home individual Gold, Silver, and Bronze medals.
While para surfing is not part of the Paralympics this year, AccesSurf has continually worked to inform the work of ISA and USA Surfing to having para surfing added to the 2023 Pan American Games and eventually the 2024 Paralympic Games in Los Angeles.
Team Hawaiʻi was sponsored by North Shore Prosthetics and Orthotics, owned and founded by fellow member of the Hawaii Adaptive Surf Team Eric Welton. Throughout the month of June, the business is also matching all donations to AccesSurf up to $5,000 to raise money for the non profit’s adaptive surf and ocean programs reopening this summer.