Local photographer and surfer Jean Paul Veaudry has put his skills on a surfboard to good use after excelling in three major competitons last year.
The first one took place in March, with Veaudry travelling to San Diego, USA to take part in the 2020 AmpSurf ISA World Para Surfing Championships where he won bronze.
Then in April, the South African government implemented a national lockdown in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Surfing shut down, everything shut down,” Veudry said.
All was not lost, however, and shortly after the lockdown was announced, SA company Made for More created the Made For More Virtual Adaptive Surfing Championships, which ran through July and August and featured surfers from all over the world.
“We had to submit our best waves and at first it was just for fun, but it gradually got more support until eventually they got a sponsor and some prize money,” said Veaudry.
“We filmed the waves and uploaded them. We were allowed four waves.”
Veaudry won the Below-Knee Stand/ Para Surfing Stand 2 division. He was followed by USA surfer Carter Hess in second place and Israeli surfer Nachman Yariv Balulu in third.
Short on the heels of that victory, Veaudry entered into the 2020 AmpSurf Home-Break Adaptive Pro/ Am Championships which ran from September to November.
The rules were similar, but this time participants filmed their eight best waves and submitted them to the judges.
Again, Veaudry came first in the Below-Knee Stand/ Para Surfing Stand 2 division with a total score of 26.14. Second place was taken by Pegleg Bennet from Great Britain while Dana Cummings from the USA took third.
Veaudry noted that due to continued lockdown restrictions, organisers were hesitant to commit to competitions in the near future.
“Nothing has really been put down on paper. I think everything’s a little up in the air because of the lockdown,” he said.