Hess carves his way to Team USA surfing nod

Carter Hess carved his way to a spot on the USA Surfing Team today in Oceanside, California as part of a local contingent competing in the US Surfing Championships.

The adaptive surfer from Carolina Beach qualified for the championship by winning the adaptive standup division of the East Coast Surfing Championships held in Cherry Grove in late April.

Hess, a below the knee amputee was injured by an IED while serving in Afghanistan in 2012. He earned second place in his division, while earning the Team USA slot.

“Two years ago, when I started back, I saw the championships online in La Jolla,” said Hess. “That was the first one published big time, and I thought to myself, I’ll make that my goal . You can check that as complete.”

Hess will represent the US in the ISA World Adaptive Surf Championships held in December in La Jolla, California.

Socastee High School rising senior Terrel Rawson was once again named US Tandem surfing champion, after also winning the title in 2017.

Other local surfers were presented with challenging West Coast power waves and didn’t fare as well. Myrtle Beach’s Brock Johnson, Conway’s Ernie Johnson, and Columbia, SC surfer Mark Riffle advanced to the semifinals of the adaptive assist with Ernie Johnson finishing highest amongst the local crew, in 6th place. Brock Johnson placed 7th and Riffle took 8th, while surfing on a borrowed board for the first time.

Pawley’s Island’s Antwoine Langley ran out of time in his semifinal heat, on day Day 2 of the event. Langley competed in the men’s shortboard division.

Kristopher Angone surfed in the wave ski division, but the Little River resident didn’t advance out of his heat.

Team Carolina volunteers and care takers will spend several days surfing breaks near San Diego before returning home Monday morning. jetBlue provided complementary airfare for the group of 17, while the local community and the Adaptive Surf Project filled in the gaps with donations.

 

Photo Credit: Paul Towers

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