South African raising funds to attend Deaf Surf Champs – Global Surf News
South African raising funds to attend Deaf Surf Champs
Title hopeful Stuart Bazley
Deaf Surfer Hopes to Realise World Surfing Champs Dream
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 30 May, 2007 : – – Bluff resident Stuart Bazley hopes to realise his lifelong dream of taking part in the 2007 World Deaf Surfing Championships which take place at Kyushu Beach, Miyazaki in Japan from September 21 to 23.
The fit 41 year old surfer works as a Nampak Operator and is unable to raise enough money to fund the trip himself so is appealing for financial assistance to help him take part in the prestigious event and befriend other deaf surfers from around the globe.
“Going overseas to compete in an international championships would be a dream come true for me unfortunately its expensive to travel especially as far as Japan so I will need to get support from people to help me realize my dream.
I am also excited about the prospect of learning more about surfing culture globally and being able to communicate effectively with fellow surfers whilst in the water,” said Bazley who needs to raise R25, 000 in order to pay for his travel, accommodation and food whilst overseas.
Bazley was born completely deaf and relies mostly on sign language to communicate although over the years he has learned to speak when talking to others. Being deaf has not only presented Bazley with challenges when communicating with others; it has also affected his ability to surf.
His love affair with the ocean started at the age of ten when his brother took him out into the surf at Warner Beach. Due to his deafness Bazley found that merely trying to balance on a board whilst paddling was tricky so for one year he took up the sport of bodyboarding. He mastered bodyboarding at pace and was then keen to face the fresh challenge of learning to surf.
“I learnt to forget about the problems I had with balancing and focused on watching my role models surf and improving my own performance in the water,” said Bazley who is yet to meet any other completely deaf surfers from South Africa.
Bazley learnt to surf by closely watching top surfers such as Pierre Tostee, Greg Swart, Gavin Spowart, Paul Canning and Rudy Palmboom who continue to provide him with inspiration in the water. Bazley’s repertoire of trademark surfing moves includes his powerful top turns, floaters and occasional tube rides.
Bazley attended the Hillcrest Fulton School for the Deaf and then moved to the Bluff where he has lived and surfed for last 20 years. Not only is he a familiar face in the line up to all surfers that venture out for a surf at Ansteys beach, when finances permit, he also loves travelling further south to surf Green Point and cites Jeffrey’s Bay as one of his favourite spots of all time.
To keep in shape for surfing when there are no waves Bazley paddles a two-seater K2 canoe. “I have heard that the surf in Japan can get really big but I am ready to face any challenge and I think that I stand a good chance of doing well regardless of the surf size,” said Bazley who used to love squaring up to massive surf as a youngster and feels most confident when riding his favourite Baron and Clayton surfboards.
The World Deaf Surfing Championships comprise of three separate wave riding disciplines namely bodyboarding, surfing and longboarding. For more information on the event please go to deafsurf.org
The international surfing event kicks off on September 20 with the International Deaf Surfriders Association Meeting at Miyazaki. >From September 21 to 23 the World Deaf Surfing Championships will take place. September 24 to 29 will see a Deaf Surfari where the local surfers will expose the competitors to some of the best secret spots in south Miyazaki area and the Kagoshima area.
Any members of the public that would like to assist Bazley can deposit money into the following account – Standard Bank Jacobs; account number 250179903 and bank code 643226.
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