Cornish teenager Charlotte Banfield secured a memorable silver medal on her international debut as Team England made a successful first foray into the World Adaptive Surfing Championships.
This has been an historic year for English Surfing, following Sport England’s decision to finally recognise Surfing England as the sports National Governing Body, the catalyst for the first English Adaptive Surfing Open held at Newquay’s Watergate Bay in September.
Fast forward a few months and three surfers from that inaugural event, Liverpool’s Spike Kane, Rik ‘Pegleg’ Bennett of Perranporth and Banfield (Penryn), flew the flag for England as a record breaking 109 surfers from 26 countries competed in La Jolla, California.
Kane led the team and performed well in his heats but didn’t get the necessary total scores to progress. Bennett committed to all the waves he could and progressed, bowing out after the quarter-final with his head held high.
Banfield participated in the women’s divisions, which were the first to be held at this level, and incredibly made it to the finals, then overcame everything to secure a silver medal, a moment that will be treasured in English surfing history.
“Well done to each of our surfers, Charlotte, ‘Peg’ and Spike, we can’t begin to express how big an inspiration you are to us,” said Bruce Daniel, chair of Surfing England. “We also want to give a massive thanks to the support team who were with them at every point of this journey.”