The Irukandjis have selected their team to represent Australia at the upcoming 2021 Pismo Beach ISA World Para Surfing Championship.
The event is renowned for attracting the most talented para-surfers from all continents of the world to compete and showcase their elite surfing abilities. California’s Pismo Beach will host the competition that will take place in early December.
The ISA World Championship first began in 1964 with men and women. Manly Beach, NSW hosted the competitions first event, and since then it has developed to become increasingly inclusive and now features a wide variety of surfing disciplines.
The ISA World Para Surfing Championship serves as the only Olympic-style team event in surfing.
The Irukandjis is the new name and identity of the Australian surfing team that was unveiled on March 17th, 2021. The local Yirrganydji people of North Queensland generously gifted the new name to Surfing Australia. Former World Tour surfer, Soli Bailey, was one of the enforcers for the change.
The Irukandji is one of the world’s most poisonous jellyfish and is a member of the box jellyfish species. It inhabits the northern marine waters of Australia.
Australia has selected what has been described as a strengthened team in the hopes of an improved position from seventh in the previous competition.
National High Performance Director Kate Wilcomes is excited about Australia’s prospects leading into the competition.
“We are thrilled to be sending such a large and experienced team that is not only decorated but really passionate about representing The Irukandjis on the world stage,” she said.
“The High Performance Team can’t wait to see the team compete and do Australian proud!”
The Irukandjis 2021 Para Surfing Team
Para Surfing Prone 1 – Any surfer who rides the wave in a prone position that does NOT require assistance paddling into a wave and getting back on the board safely.
Gavin Bellis is more well known for his rowing achievements, winning multiple gold medals in Mixed Double Sculls. He is also a three-time AS4 National Surfing Champion and previously finished sixth in the ISA World Surf Championships.
Para Surfing Prone 2 – Any surfer who rides the wave in a prone position that DOES require assistance in the water, paddling into a wave, and getting back on the board safely.
Sam Bloom is a two time World Para Surfing champion, bestselling author and global keynote speaker. Jocelyn Neumueller has exceeded all kinds of expectations, when she qualified and then finished fifth at the 2016 Rio Paralympics. She will look to continue breaking barriers representing Australia in Surfing in December. Rounding out the Australian entries in the Prone 2 is Jack Curphey.
Para Surfing Stand 2 – Any surfer who rides a wave in a standing position with a below the knee amputation or congenital or impairment equivalent, or leg length difference.
Wayne Figliomeni having previously competed at a national level, Figliomeni will take his passion to the global stage.
Para Surfing Kneel – Any surfer who rides a wave in a kneeling or sitting without paddle position with an above the knee amputation or both lower limb amputations or congenital or impairment equivalent.
Mark ‘Mono’ Stewart is para surfing royalty, he’s competed overseas and represented Australia on many occasions and was even nominated to be named Australian Male Surfer of the year in 2016.
Para Surfing Vision Impairment 2 – Any surfer who rides a wave in a standing position with IBSA classification Level B1.
Jack Jackson has previously finished first in competitions including the Bali Adaptive Pro in 2019. Matt Formston has also has competed for Australia in cycling, Formson is a three-time Surfing World Champion. Lastly is Sarah Jane Gibson competing for Australian in the Vision Impairment 2 class.
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