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Raemondo takes on World Surfing Champs

Raemondo was part of a team of 14 athletes with support members such as family and coaches representing South Africa at the World ISA Para Surf Championships in Pismo Beach California. He is part of the Roxy Davis Foundation, a Surfing Therapy Clinic in Muizenberg, which was founded by head coach Roxy Davis, who is a nine-time South African World champion surfer, and he has only been surfing for the past 18 months.

Raemondo received one silver medal, bronze and copper for his division known as prone 2. This is an assisted division where the swimmer is pushed out to the water with an assistant until they catch a wave and are tested on their skill while placing their weight on the board. The teen is also part of Adaptive Surfers of South Africa.

“When I am out there in the water, it is just me and the water, and at that moment, the other stuff comes after,” he said. “It was an amazing experience to be in California with my team, representing our country. It has been my dream since I started surfing to represent my country, and on 4 December, on my 16th birthday, I received my SA colours. I use my stomach, my core to surf. If I just use my arms, I will fall. I do gym to train and strengthen my core.”

Masulela said she was proud of her son, who had determination since he was born and is also a Western Province table tennis player: “The month before he left for California, he was at the beach every weekend and worked hard.”

Davis said she was extremely proud of the team. “We have been placed 5th in the world, and this is the highest place achieved for para surfing in the country. When I met Raemondo for the first time in May 2021, he said he would like to represent South Africa one day, and he didn’t think it would come so soon. When the world championships opened, he was the one who was the flag bearer.”

Fiona Sander from The Roxy Davis Foundation-

"The 2022 Pismo ISA World Para Surfing Championships was a world class event - a precursor to an entry into the Paralympics (we hope). This young man expects A LOT of himself and has big dreams. Competition was fierce, his division is one of the largest and followed a round robin format and then knock out, one of the challenges was navigating this large pier, you swam out on the north side of the pier went under it and competed on the south side usually catching a wave to the north but stopping before the pier. Rae caught waves and gave it his all! He can be SUPER proud to be 18th in the world! Something special happens to Rae when he is out surfing, he comes back energised, fist pumps and happy gestures, he is invigorated and inspired - it is a sight to behold - Rae is alive in the ocean."

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