Champions Crowned: Australian Para Surfing Titles Showcase Exceptional Performances and Inspiring Abilities

Published on 13/08/2023

The Australian Para Surfing Titles were held today at Rainbow Beach of Bonny Hills. The event, held under small and clean conditions, showcased the extraordinary talents of para athletes who continue to make a meaningful impact on the sport of surfing.

Dale Taylor (NSW) claimed the victor in the Para Stand 1 category, earning both the title and the prestigious ‘Spirit of Para Surfing’ award. Taylor’s exceptional performance and dedication underscored the resilience and determination within Parasurfing.

Surfing Australia Contest Director, Glen Elliott, expressed his admiration for the athletes: “At Rainbow Beach Bonny Hills, the Australian Parasurfing Titles showcased exceptional performances. Dale Taylor clinched victory in the Para Stand 1 category and was honored with ‘The Spirit of Para Surfing’ award. The event, held in small and clean conditions, highlighted the inspiring abilities of all para athletes and their meaningful impact on the sport.”

Veteran surfer Mark ‘Mono’ Stewart (NSW), who secured his fifth Australian title at the event, commented on the tough conditions and the importance of the sport’s visibility: “We’re all surfing the same waves, so it is what it is – a bit of everything. The reason I keep coming back is my love for the sport and promoting it, especially among the youth. I genuinely believe it’s the best sport in the world. It’s fantastic that Surfing Australia organizes these events; they deserve credit for it. Unfortunately, accidents happen every day, and new people face difficulties each year. Our continuous involvement aims to keep the sport in the public eye. So if something goes wrong, people can remember us, out there in the surf despite challenges. We hold a responsibility to endorse it, encourage more individuals to return to the ocean, and that’s what I’m here to do.”

Jocelyn Neumueller (SA), an Adelaide native, expressed her pride in witnessing emerging talents like Annie Goldsmith (2nd place): “Annie and I are both from Adelaide, so it’s a special feeling seeing her up here, absolutely killing it. The best part, for me, is spreading the love for surfing and witnessing emerging talents like Annie. They’re the future, and that’s truly fulfilling seeing this sport grow.”

Joel Taylor (NSW), who secured the Australian Title after three decades of dedication, shared his excitement: “Winning this Title has me seriously pumped. I remember my first Australian Title entry back in 1993 when I was just 12 and passionate about bodyboarding. Now, 30 years later, I’m an Australian champion, and it’s an awesome feeling.”

The Australian Para Surfing Titles not only celebrate remarkable athletic prowess but also the indomitable spirit of individuals who overcome challenges to excel in the sport they love. As the event continues to gain traction, it highlights the incredible growth and potential of para surfing on both national and international stages.

Para Surfing Results

1. Mark ‘Mono’ Stewart (Byron Bay, NSW) 
2. Reddog Wheatley (Garden Suburb, NSW)  
3. Michael Foti (Nowra, NSW) 

VI 1 Men
1. Kirk Watson (Mona Vale, NSW) 

VI 2 Men
1. Jack Jackson (Woy Woy, NSW) + Assistant 
2. Matt Formston (Wamberal, NSW) 

VI 2 Women
1. Sarah Jane Gibson (Bensville, NSW) 

S1 – Mixed
1. John Wheele (Tura Beach, NSW) 
2. Leanne Whitehouse (Tweed Heads, NSW) 

S2 – Men
1. Dale Taylor (Pottsville, NSW) 
2. Jake Matthews (Newport Beach, NSW) 
3. John Crampton (Sydney, NSW) 
4. Robert Tome (Warrawong, NSW)

S3 – Men
1. Andrew Pink (Weyba Downs, QLD) 

Prone 1 Men
1. Joel Taylor (Lennox Head, NSW) 
2. Kai Colless (Burleigh Heads, NSW) 
3. Max Devery (Secret Harbour, WA) 
4. Chris Astill (St Leonards, NSW) 

Prone 1 Women
1. Emma Dieters (Mona Vale, NSW) 
2. Sam Bloom (Newport, NSW) 

Prone 2 Men
1. Lee Ferrier (Sydney, NSW) + Assistant 
2. Cliff Gralton (Tuncurry, NSW)

Prone 2 Women
1. Jocelyn Neumueller (Park Holme, SA)
2. Annie Goldsmith (Erindale, SA)

For a full list of results go to the website HERE.

The Australian Bodyboard Titles start tomorrow.

View the draw and watch LIVE via LiveHeats

Bodyboard Divisions:

  • Under 18 Junior Men
  • Under 16 Cadet Open
  • Under 14 Grommet Open
  • Open Men
  • Open Women
  • O35 Masters Men
  • O45 Men
  • Drop Knee

Australian Surf Championships – Port Macquarie, NSW (Aug 4 – 21)

  • Opening Ceremony: August 4
  • Australian Longboard Titles: August 5 – 12
  • Australian Para Surfing Titles: August 13
  • Australian Bodyboard Titles: August 14 – 16
  • Australian Shortboard Titles: August 17 – 21

Stay up to date with event info and daily confirmation of event locations by joining the Australian Surf Championships 2023 WhatsApp community HERE.

Entry to the Australian Titles is by state qualification or invitation.

The Australian Surf Championships are proudly supported by the NSW Government through its tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW as well as Port Macquarie Hastings Council, Le Tan, Stroud Homes, Bonny Hills Beach Hotel, Jim Beam, Stoddart Group, One Agency North Haven and Surfing NSW.

Joel Taylor, Prone Men Title winner and part of the Australian Surf Championships since 1993. Image: Sam Walkerden / Surfing Australia

Sarah Jane Gibson, winner of the “Visual Impaired 2” women division of the Australian Surf Championships. Image: Kurt Polock / Surfing Australia

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