Disability surf event is UK’s biggest!

Watergate Bay in Cornwall is hosting the UK’s biggest disability surfing event this weekend – The Wave Project Summer Surf Challenge.

Over 150 disabled children and adults will be taking to the waves to try surfing, in many cases for the first time.

This free event is running for the fifth year in a row and is now the UK’s most significant free surf for disabled people.

Wave Project ambassadors Hannah Harding, Charlotte Banfield and Louis Sutton are set to attend to join over 60 volunteer surf mentors from across the community.

Wave Project founder Joe Taylor said: “The Summer Surf Challenge is our annual celebration of inclusive surfing, enabling disabled people to come down to the beach and try something new. It’s also a fantastic opportunity for surfers and the local community to volunteer their time to help others.

“The atmosphere down on the beach is always emotional for our surfers and their families.  Surfing may not have been something our participants have ever felt able to do, but we’ll catch waves with them and show them that they are just as able to enjoy the surf.”

The event is sponsored by insurance company MS-Amlin Plc and supported by the Watergate Bay Hotel and Extreme Academy.

Wave Project spokesperson Helen Kirkman added: “The Summer Surf Challenge brings together the whole surfing community who volunteer their time to help run free surf taster sessions for people with disabilities.

“Attendees will be supported by surf volunteers from partner Wave Project locations from all over the country.

“Our funding from Amlin ensures that the event is totally free for participants, for which we are hugely grateful.”

Winner of last year’s Courage Award for outstanding bravery on the beach was five year old Jacob Pike.  Jacob, aged 5, was severely brain damaged from birth due to a stroke. It has left him unable to sit, stand or walk.

But with amazing courage, he was able to surf for the first time at last year’s Summer Surf Challenge with help from his Dad, Glen and our specially adapted surfboard.

Jacob’s mother said; “Due to his complex needs, Jacob can only say one word – Again. But he didn’t stop saying it all day. Every wave he caught, he would say, ‘Again, again.’”