Adaptive surfers gather for annual competition

Surfers are gathering in Bristol to take part in an annual adaptive surfing competition.

It is the first time the English Adaptive Surfing Open has taken place on an inland surfing lake and is being held at The Wave.

The one-day event is taking place on Saturday and 20 para-athletes will compete in the competition.

Pegleg Bennett will be taking part in the 2020 English Adaptive Surfing Open on Saturday (Andrew Matthews/PA).
Pegleg Bennett will be taking part in the 2020 English Adaptive Surfing Open on Saturday (Andrew Matthews/PA).

Ben Powis, chief executive of Surfing England, said: “Adaptive surfing continues to go from strength to strength, with the Team England Adaptive crew home to some of the world’s best.

“We want to showcase the amazing talent that is out there and help raise awareness of the sport – with the ultimate aim of it being funded at a national level and included in the Paralympics.”

The Wave opened last year at a site near Bristol.

Founder Nick Hounsfield said: “Ever since I started to think about creating The Wave, I knew that it had to be truly accessible for all.

“We designed the place with adaptive surfing at the very core what we want to deliver and made sure that people of all abilities would be able to share the many physical and mental health benefits of surfing.

“Our wave-making technology allows us to run a range of different surfing waves at the touch of a button – and we aren’t at the mercy of the elements, which is perfect in terms of running a surfing competition.

“Having the 2020 English Adaptive Surfing Championships at The Wave is literally a dream come true – both for me but also for all our staff and supporters who have helped build my vision for The Wave.”