You just can’t keep good people like Allan Mullins down
telling the small crowd gathered around him that this was a “great, great moment”.
Allan was then hoisted out of his wheelchair and placed on the board.
Surrounded by about 12 skilled surfers, the board bearing Allan was walked through the surf, resembling an Hawaiian royal procession. There were some interesting moments when the board tipped, and Allan dipped, but he was surrounded by willing hands at all times, with medics on standby, just in case.
They surfed for more than an hour, and an exhilarated Allan returned to shore. The crew moved on to the new Rolling Wood craft surf store in York Street, Muizenberg, where gifts were handed out.
It was one of those serendipitous days. Store owner Cobus Joubert, a member of the Joubert-Tradouw wine family, was about to open the brand-new store to complete the adaptive surfing and winemaking loop.
It also marked the build-up to a wider event, an Adaptive Surfing Day, next Sunday at Big Bay, Blouberg. Veteran Surfing South Africa administrator Robin de Kock, speaking before Allan’s paddleout in the carpark, urged surfers to participate. “Registrations starts at 9am at the lifesaving club, so come along,” he said.
The healing power of surfing is a powerful therapy. It seems we’re on the cusp of a boom in adaptive surfing, particularly after South Africa’s successful participation in the World Adaptive Surfing Games in the US earlier this year, when team captain Antony Smyth won a silver medal in the Stand Up division.
More than 70 individuals with disabilities ranging from spinal cord injuries, to intellectual disabilities and blindness, have already registered for next Sunday.
A joint initiative between Extreme Abilities, headed by former rugby player Dries Millard, and Surfing South Africa, it also has the support of the Department of Sport and Recreation.
You can’t keep good people down.
THE African office of the World Surf League ( WSL) announced their regional winners for 2015. David van Zyl, 22, from Durban, clinched the men’s title, former WSL CT campaigner, Nikita Robb, 26, from Cape Town, won the women’s.
Jeffreys Bay standout Dylan Lightfoot, 20, won in his last year in the Pro Junior age category, while La Lucia’s Nicole Pallet, 20, secured the Pro Junior women’s title. Lightfoot and Shane Sykes (Salt Rock), Adin Masencamp (Strand), Jordan Maree (Kalk Bay), Matt McGillivray (Jeffreys Bay) and Bevan Willis (Durban), have received invitations to compete in the WSL Junior Championships in Portugal in January 2016.
RUNNER-UP in Master Chef South Africa last year, Siphokazi Mdlandomo, will braai against other celebrity teams at the Wavescape Fish Fry in Muizenberg later today.
The Fish Fry kicks off at the Blue Bird Garage from 3pm and aims to raise awareness for WWF-SASSI around sustainable seafood; raise funds for Waves for Change trauma programme; showcase surfboard craftsman; and enable surfers to sell or trade their old surfboards. More info www.wavescapefestival.com
THE SE blows this weekend, but backs off for the whole week. Today, fresh straight SE blows, with a few 2-3’ peaks on the other side, but Muizenberg looks messy and blown out. Similar tomorrow, only smaller on the other side and bigger in False Bay to 3 or 4’ but onshore.
CREST-RISEN: South Africa’s Bianca Buitendag won her Round 2 heat and placed third in Round 3 at the Fiji Women’s Pro this week.