The 2016 International Surfing Association (ISA) World Adaptive Surfing Championship is set to break records with 77 athletes from 21 countries, across all five continents, expected at the second edition of the event which begins in San Diego tomorrow.
The record turnout is a significant increase on the inaugural championship held in 2015, which featured 69 athletes from 18 countries.
The event will run until December 11 and will feature the world’s best adaptive surfers, competing on the beach break of La Jolla Shores.
The competitors will represent their countries and compete for individual and team medals.
Building on the 2015 edition, also held in San Diego, the ISA has made adjustments to divisions and team size, and has created a Paralympic-style team competition similar to those at all other events in the ISA World Championship Series.
The Council of the City of San Diego has also proclaimed tomorrow, the day of the Opening Ceremony, as "International Surfing Association Adaptive Surf Day".
The decision "marks surfing as an integral part of San Diego’s cultural identity, praises the ISA for giving surfers around the world the opportunity to come together in the spirit of fair competition and acknowledges the inaugural ISA World Adaptive Surfing Championship in 2015 as the symbolic beginning of the governing body’s attempts to add adaptive surfing to the Paralympic Games," it is claimed.
"The record participation in the Stance ISA World Adaptive Surfing Championship is really gratifying for the ISA, and for me personally," said ISA President, Fernando Aguerre.
"This growth validates our strategy for global development of this extremely important discipline which we set in motion at the ground-breaking inaugural event in 2015.
"Adaptive surfing underlines the socio-cultural value of surfing, by offering opportunities to anyone to have access to the sport and the ocean, regardless of their physical ability.
“We can’t wait to welcome the athletes from all over the world and draw inspiration from their humbling stories and their amazing skills and ability.
"We will harness the athletes’ energy and drive to continue the growth of this inspirational championship as we aim to get Adaptive Surfing added to future editions of the Paralympic Games.”