Brazil claimed the overall team gold medal at the ISA World Adaptive Surfing Championships ©ISA

Brazil claimed the team event gold medal at the 2016 International Surfing Association (ISA) World Adaptive Surfing Championships in San Diego.

The South Americans emerged victorious in front of hosts the United States who earned the silver medal, with Chile and Australia claiming bronze and copper respectively.

New participation records were set at the event with 77 athletes from 21 countries, across all five continents, competing at the second edition of the Championships.

The record turnout is a significant increase on the inaugural Championship held in 2015, also in San Diego, which featured 69 athletes from 18 countries.

Three of the four gold medallists in the inaugural edition last year successfully defended their titles this time around.

Brazil’s Fellipe Lima, Denmark’s Bruno Hansen and Australia’s Mark Stewart all retained their medals while Spaniard Aitor Francesena, Brazil’s Davi Teixeira and South Africa’s Antony Smyth all claimed their first gold medals as part of an extended schedule. 

"This was an incredible finish to a monumental week of competition for the sport of adaptive surfing," said ISA President Fernando Aguerre.

"Throughout these four days we witnessed the sport grow and develop leaps and bounds.

"The six world champions, the 77 athletes, the 22 countries and Team Brazil’s gold medal performance will forever be a part of the history of adaptive surfing."

The AS-VI visually impaired final was the first to hit the water, crowning Spain’s Francesena as the first-ever world champion in the discipline. 

Brazil’s Elias Figue Diel earned the silver medal, followed by Australia’s Matt Formston with the bronze and France’s Gwendal Du Fretay with the copper for fourth place.

The AS-5 assist final followed, featuring a rematch between the defending gold medallist Jesse Billauer of the US and last year's runner-up Teixeira of Brazil.

This time Teixeira got the better of Billauer, to claim gold and strengthen his country's lead atop of the overall standings.

Mark Stewart won the gold medal in the the AS-2 competition ©ISA
Mark Stewart won the gold medal in the the AS-2 competition ©ISA

Australia’s Barney Miller finished with the silver, Billauer with the bronze and Peru’s Pancho Arbulu with the copper.

In the third final, the AS-4 prone division took centre stage.

The 2015 champion, Hansen of Denmark, was paralysed after a car theft in 1994 and successfully defended his title with a commanding six point lead.

Brazil's Lima produced the first perfect 10-point ride in the history of the event to win the AS-3 upright final.

American Jeff Munson followed with the silver, with Great Britain’s Chris Jones taking bronze.

Chile’s Elias Valencia completed the top four.

"That was a great heat," said Lima.

"It wasn’t easy with Jeff Munson out there. 

"He was killing it.

"I studied the conditions and decided that I needed to find the lefts to get my scores and it worked out for me.

"It means so much for me to win back-to-back titles for my country of Brazil."

The AS-1 and AS-2 events brought the competition to a close.

The two divisions, which divide the standing and kneeling surfers according to the athletes’ level of function, provided an exciting conclusion. 

Australia’s Stewart continued his dominant run in the AS-2 Division by retaining his gold medal while, in the final heat of the day, Smyth of South Africa claimed gold in the AS-1 division.