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Two major international surf championships this weekend in San Diego County

There will be no shortage of great waves for surfers in both competitions this weekend.

SAN DIEGO — San Diego County is hosting two major international surf championships this weekend and there will be no shortage of great waves for the occasions. The 6th annual U.S. Open Adaptive Surfing Championships at the Oceanside Pier began Thursday and runs through Sunday.

“Everybody’s stoked to be out here, the weather’s great, the waves are good,” said Madison McBride, one of many staffers for the event.

“We’ve seen some really high-level surfing right now, the waves that are on offer right now are pretty good. We had a hold on fog this morning, but other than that, it’s been pretty good,” said Charles Chakwebb, founder of Stoked for Life Foundation and creator of the competition. 

Chakwebb broke his back in a motorcycle accident at the age of 19. Being a surfer at the time, he felt like a piece of his identity had been taken away from him.

“I wanted to create something that was for the people behind me and for the people behind them,” said Chakwebb. “Adaptive surfing is probably the fastest growing adaptive sport on the planet, not only because of the lifestyle, but because of what the ocean does for you, it heals you.”

“It’s awesome, it’s always good to get out in the water, super fun,” said one surfer before being wheeled out to the water by event staff.

“I love being a part of anything that improves somebody’s quality of life and make someone excited to be living,” said McBride.

96 athletes from 17 countries joined this last leg of the tour here in Oceanside. On Sunday, they’ll be crowning world champions across several divisions. 

On top of that, the World Surf League also has their championship this weekend at Lower Trestles in San Clemente.

“This is a huge event for us, this is the day that we crown our world champions, it’s the pinnacle of the sport of surfing, absolutely,” said Jessi Miley-Dyer, Chief of Sport for the World Surf League. She told CBS 8 the WSL is on yellow alert, which means they’ll probably start Saturday at 8:00 a.m. if conditions continue as expected.

“Saturday and Sunday have really good conditions, we have this hurricane that’s out there and it’s going to bring great swell, we’re really fortunate to have this weather system. We know that it’s probably going to be about 8 feet tomorrow by the afternoon,” said Miley-Dyer.

A couple San Clemente locals are surfing in the competition, 25-year-old Griffin Colapinto and 21-year-old Caroline Marks. 

Both surfing events at the Oceanside Pier and at Trestles are free and open to the public.

“For us to be down here crowning world champions in epic waves, it’s a great way to end the year,” said Miley-Dyer.

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