This past weekend history was made in the world of adaptive surfing, when the first ever US Open Adaptive Surf Championship was held in pumping five-to-six foot surf at the pier in Oceanside, California, USA.
Barney Miller – a Rip Curl athlete, one of Mick Fanning’s good friends, and the man behind the award winning documentary "You and Me" – took home first place in the assisted prone category.
The US Open Adaptive Surf Championship marks the first event in adaptive surfing with prize money up for grabs – and with its inception, has begun a shift in the future of adaptive surfing.
“Yeah, this event has made history,” said Barney Miller. “It was ground breaking. It's definitely an exciting time in adaptive surfing.
“Since my accident 18 years ago, this was the first thing that really made me feel something, eh, different – it was a big event with a bunch of people from around the world, and winning here was a feeling like I haven’t felt in a very, very, very long time. And it’s amazing.”
Barney took the win on day one in storm-swell conditions, battling a heavy sweep and a big swell, progressing through to the final rounds with a nail-biting buzzer beater win.
“The ocean was big on that first day,” said Barney. “We got smashed, we got washed into the pier, we got sucked 100 yards down the beach and then we got smashed again. It was scary, and there was a lot of swearing and figuring out what to do.
“When we finally got out again there were about two minutes to go, and I was feeling so jittery. Then literally on the countdown, as they were saying three, two… I got pushed into a wave right when the buzzer went. The wave went right towards the pier and then it reformed, so I ended up getting an 8.7. If I hadn’t got that I would have been down and out!
“Then the second day we were surfing in the morning and it was offshore, pumping. The best I’ve seen Oceanside in a long, long time. These big lefts were coming from out the back and all the way through, it was so glassy, not a puff of wind, no current, it was amazing. We were pumped.
"Really, it was just so good to get a breakthrough win like this. It gave me the confidence that I need to go into the World Adaptive Championships, which are coming up next month. Last year i got a Silver, a nd now I'm psyched up for the Gold! Ready to represent Australia!"
Congratulations on your win, Barney – we can’t wait to see you compete in the World Adaptive Championships in La Jolla, California, from Nov 29 to Dec 3, 2017.
And a huge congrats to everyone who competed in this ground breaking event. You’re an inspiration to us all.
All surfing images: Junior Ojeda @flickphotos
All other images: Jeff Miller
1st… Bruno Hansen from Skan, Denmark
2nd… Jacob Pacheco from California, USA
3rd… Spike Kane from Washington, USA
Kneel Above The Knee
1st… Mark Stewart from NSW, Australia
2nd.. Llywelyn “Sponge” Williams from Gwynedd, United Kingdom
3rd.. Henrique Saraiva from Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
4th… Dani Burt from California, USA
Wave Ski Sit Women
1st… Alana Nichols from California, USA
2nd… Michelle Tippens from Alabama, USA
3rd… Jocelyn Judd from Washington, USA
Sight Impaired Blind
1st… Matt Formston from NSW, Australia
2nd… Barbie Pacheco from Texas, USA
3rd… Joshua Loya from California, USA
4th… Scott Leason from California, USA
1st… Barney Miller from Australia
2nd… Jesse Billauer from California, USA
3rd… Quinn Waitley from California, USA
4th… Riley Pathman from California, USA
Standing Below The Knee
1st… Robson Gasperi from Santa Catarina, Brazil
2nd… Adi Klang from Israel
3rd… Kenjirou Ito from Hawaii
4th… Victor M.S. Flores from California, USA
Hearing Impaired Deaf
1st… Darcy De La O from California, USA
2nd… Darrick De La O from California, USA
3rd… CJ Dasilva from California, USA
4th… James Prietto from California, USA
Wave Ski Men Sit
1st… Jeff Munson from California, USA
2nd… Ethan Kairer from California, USA
3rd… Charles “Chaka” Webb from California, USA
4th… Freddy Carrillo from California, USA
Barney Miller Wins Historic US Open Adaptive Surf Championship