Para Surf Scotland enjoyed another successful run to the semi-finals at the World Para Surf Championships, this year at the world famous Huntington Beach in California. Karen Darke, made the semi-finals and finished 7th overall in the Women’s Prone 2 division. This marks a proud achievement with back-to-back Scottish athletes making it to the semi-finals of this event, after Jade Edward secured 7th in 2022. Jade was met with some tough competition and unfortunately couldn’t better her 2022 result, but still came away with an 11th place finish and another memorable event!
North Pacific swells blessed the competitors with a week of non-stop waves, from knee-high peelers to head-high barrels, and the morning offshores made for some dreamy conditions. Karen, Jade, and the team were challenged in some of the biggest waves they have faced, but everyone seized the opportunity to throw themselves into some big surf!
The competition draw saw Jade & Karen in the same heats for Round 1 and Round 2. Luckily, team Scotland had the resources and support crew for a dedicated water team with each of them. Karen had the support of Caorann Fosbrooke as pusher, and Iain Donaldson as catcher. Jade teamed up with her SurfABLE coaches, Kevin Anderson as pusher and Glyn Morris as catcher. The round robin format gave everyone the opportunity to maximise scores over two rounds to qualify for a semi-final place. Karen scored a 5.33 and a 4.4, giving her a combined 9.73 to seed her 8th in the semi-finals. Jade scored a 4.9 and 3.5, giving a combined 8.4, unfortunately falling short of the semis but finishing 11th out of 14 for the competition. Karen’s semi final heat was in smaller waves against 7 fierce and experienced competitors, where she finished with a 5.74 heat total meaning. This wasn’t enough to progress to the final, and Karen finished joint 7th place overall. A huge congratulations and well done to Karen, Jade, and team!
With the competition run over, the team enjoyed the last few days of Californian sun and perfect Huntington Beach peelers to train, free-surf, and experiment with different boards. On top of a semi-final finish, the team are taking away another year of valuable experience and knowledge. Scotland also proudly now has the UK’s first national classifier for para-surfing, with Saoirse Quinn completing her qualification at this event – well done Saoirse! We are all excited about this new pathway and the future of Scottish Para Surfing!
The SSF would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who supported and sponsored the team to make this trip possible. We continue to be blown away by the generosity of sponsors, partners, and supporters. A special thanks to the Colin Weir Charitable Foundation for their significant charitable donation, and the teams two main sponsors, Gleaner Limited and Ross-Shire Engineering. Finally, thank you to all the Crowdfunder supporters, as well as other partners and charities, SurfABLE, Inclusive Surfing Scotland, and SAP Surfcraft, that made this all possible!