Perfect Heat Surfed and World Champions Crowned on Day 5 of the 2023 ISA World Para Surfing Championship

November 10th, 2023

First perfect 20-point heat total in ISA para surfing history earned by Roberto Pino (BRA)

Felipe Kizu Lima (BRA) equals record with sixth gold medal win, Alana Nichols (USA) collects third

Charlotte Banfield (ENG) and Dijackson Passos dos Santos (BRA) win first gold medals


Huntington Beach, California – November 10, 2023

A huge day of action at the 2023 ISA World Para Surfing Championship (WPSC) saw a perfect heat surfed, two multiple-time World Champions add to their medal counts, and two brand new World Champion crowned. Finalists in all other classifications were also determined, setting up a big Finals Day for tomorrow.

For the second day in a row the record for the highest heat total in ISA para surfing history was broken, as Roberto Pino (BRA) scored two 10-point rides to surf a perfect 20-point heat. The 2020 World Champion’s two 10’s were earned for a barrel and critical two-turn combo respectively, skyrocketing the 46-year-old into the Men’s Stand 1 Final.

Roberto Pino, Team Brazil. Photo: Sean Evans

The record of six gold medals, held by Bruno Hansen (DEN) since 2021, has now been matched by Felipe Kizu Lima (BRA). After a slow start to the heat, the 36-year-old, who won the very first ISA para surfing gold medal in 2015, once again won the Men’s Sit Final in convincing fashion, comboing the rest of the field. Ethan Karier (USA) won the silver medal, Douglas Hendrix (RSA), bronze, and Guillaume Colin (FRA), copper.

“It’s so good to be here and keeping the growth of the sport, keeping my titles.” Lima said. “There is a bunch of new guys coming hard on my back and I’m loving it.”

Alana Nichols (USA) has now equalled her three Paralympic gold medals with a third para surfing gold medal. The 40-year-old battled through a tense Final to come out on top, ahead of new teammate Cass Eckroth (USA), who won the silver medal, Lisa Franks (CAN), bronze, and Meira Nelson (HAW), copper. Nelson unfortunately had to pull out prior to the Final due to a medical emergency.

“This is a life-changing thing that’s happening,” Nichols said. “Everybody here, they’re being forever impacted, but there are so many people around the world that get to watch it and be inspired and set goals for themselves. It’s big.”

“Anytime a sport gets added to the Paralympic program, it makes it so much more accessible for the rest of the world to be involved,” Nichols continued. “Getting into LA 2028 would be a pivotal moment. It would excel us into a really expansive world of adaptive surfing, so fingers crossed for that.”

Dijackson Passos dos Santos, Team Brazil. Photo: Jersson Barboza

In his first ever WPSC, Dijackson Passos dos Santos (BRA) swept the field to claim the gold medal. Facing stiff competition from three former finalists, two of whom were previous silver medalists, dos Santos posted a 9.67 and a 6.67 to take a significant lead. Eric Dargent (FRA) collected his fourth silver medal, Dariel Meléndez (CRC) his second bronze, and Naomichi Katsukura (JPN) his second copper.

“I’m so stoked,” dos Santos said. “I can barely speak. To be a champion you have to go out there and perform. You go after it. That’s what I wanted to do.”

After four previous finals that won her two silver medals, a bronze and a copper, England’s Charlotte Banfield won her first gold medal. Needing time away from competition in 2022, Banfield returned in great form thanks to much training. The 25-year-old saved her best for last in the Final, earning the highest wave score of her classification, a 7.33, on her last wave. Defending champion María Martín-Granizo (ESP) took the silver medal, Breezy Bochenek (USA) bronze, and Ursula Pueyo (ESP), copper.

“It feels surreal, because when you’re home and training for something, you dream to yourself, ‘Oh what would it be like to win it one day,’ because that’s everyone’s dream,” Banfield said. “This year I trained extra hard because I just really wanted to chase my dream and it’s happened and I’ve got so much emotion in my body.”

Charlotte Banfield, Team England. Photo: Sean Evans

Former silver and bronze medalist Kirk Watson (AUS) earned a 9.50 for a critical two-turn combo on his backhand to progress to the Men’s Vision Impairment 1 Final on top of the leaderboard. Meanwhile, the man with the most medals, Christian ‘Otter’ Bailey (USA), guaranteed himself yet another when he landed a barrel roll in a critical section to claim a buzzer-beating 9.43 and lock into the Men’s Prone 1 Final.

The Spanish duo of Audrey Pascual and Sarah Almagro, both former silver medalists in their respective classifications, are set to challenge gold medalists Victoria Feige (CAN) and Jocelyn Neumueller (AUS) in tomorrow’s finals, after setting the high marks for the day in Women’s Kneel and Prone 2. Two-time gold medalist Ann Yoshida (HAW) also progressed into the Prone 2 Final, her first since she last competed in 2020.

Competition will continue tomorrow at Southside Huntington Beach Pier at 7:00am PST.


Men’s Sit
Gold – Felipe Kizu Lima (BRA)
Silver – Ethan Karier (USA)
Bronze – Douglas Hendrix (RSA)
Copper – Guillaume Colin (FRA)

Women’s Sit
Gold – Alana Nichols (USA)
Silver – Cass Eckroth (USA)
Bronze – Lisa Franks (CAN)
Copper – Meira Nelson (HAW)

Men’s Stand 3
Gold – Dijackson Passos dos Santos (BRA)
Silver – Eric Dargent (FRA)
Bronze – Dariel Meléndez (CRC)
Copper – Naomichi Katsukura (JPN)

Women’s Stand 3
Gold – Charlotte Banfield (ENG)
Silver – María Martín-Granizo (ESP)
Bronze – Breezy Bochenek (USA)
Copper – Ursula Pueyo (ESP)

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