World Disabled Surfing Champs
Organized by: Jerome Feingold
When he was 5 years old, he was in a car accident which left his right arm paralysed from his shoulder down. This meant that he found it difficult to do what all his friends were doing. But that didn't stop him. Before we knew it, he was surfing (yes, at 6 years old), playing golf at 9, fishing whenever he could, and by the time he was 10, he was waterskiing - slalom. In his teens, he decided he wanted to try some skydiving. How now has 267 free fall jumps to his name. There is very little he doesn't attempt. To date, he's done a few canoe races (with a velcro sheath that attaches his arm to the paddle), he's done numerous multi day mountain bike races, he trail runs, does tortuous hikes (for me anyway), and surfs as often as he can. He continues to astound those who meet him, at his adaptability and his courage. (He said I wasn't to describe him as courageous but I am his older sister and can do what I want!) We used to joke in our family and say that he was a dolphin in his previous life - such is his connection to the ocean. As that small boy, he used to tell me that he wanted to surf for South Africa. It was a dream of his for many years. I used to see him come in from a good surf session and he would be exhilarated but tired. Not from the surfing, but from the paddling - it's a challenge to paddle out with only one arm. But that never stopped him - ever. He has gotten involved with the South African Disabled/Adaptive Surf days, and helps those less fortunate, some of them blind, and many, quadriplegic, to experience the ocean the way he does. To allow surfing to guide them and to suspend their pain and immobility. He got a phone call a few weeks ago, from Surfing South Africa, to say he had made the South African Delegation to compete in the ISA World Adaptive Surfing Champs in La Jolla, California, in September 2015. He has to find his own way and doesn't have the money to get there so I want to help him. He needs R40000 for him and equally adventurous Bev, his wife/manager, to get there. This includes their air flights, car hire, entry fees, three surf boards, and accommodation. I asked Ant the other day, what his surfing dream is and he said, "To continue to assist disabled surfers, to facilitate and encourage them to get into the ocean and on a board as often as they can." He added, "In many ways, surfing has defined who I am and I want to pass this on to people who are disabled, to experience the hope, the inspiration, the calmness, the respect and the joy that I have received from the sea. I believe the ocean and surfing are profound teachers, able bodied or not." And that's just who he is. Lets help them get there by whatever means we can.