Aitor “Gallo” Francesena, born in Zarautz, loves surfing, and he’s an expert at it, as well as being a renown monitor.  Despite his love of the sport, he was told on numerous occasions that he ought to just “forget about it”.

And he was told that because when he was a child, he was diagnosed with a congenital progressive form of glaucoma, which would inevitably lead to blindness.  What the doctors hadn’t counted on then, however, was his willpower, because even after having gone completely blind a few years ago, he’s still practicing his passion daily, as a surfer and a teacher.  What’s more, he’s even become the world champion of adapted surf.

His story of overcoming has been reported on by several Basque media outlets.  Now it’s jumped the pond: an article has been published on the US website Maritime Herald, which reports on maritime traffic, shipbuilding, ports, piracy, and business on the high seas.

We’re also including a video report published a year ago on the English-language version of the German public broadcaster Deutsche Welle‘s website.

MaritimeHerald – 7/11/2019 – USA

The Blind Surfer Who Learned To Live Against The Tide

Aitor Francesena, aka “Gallo”, had to listen several times to “forget about surfing” since childhood, due to the congenital glaucoma he had been diagnosed. However, and even after losing his sight completely a few years ago, he continues to practice his passion on a daily basis, demonstrating that there is no limit greater than oneself.

(Follow) (Automatic translation)

Deutsche Welle – 3/9/2018 – Germany

Blind surfer Aitor Francesena coaches youth

The world of surfing: big waves, sandy beaches, blue skies. It’s easy to picture, right? Now imagine if you were unable to picture it. This is the story of a blind surfing coach who more than makes do with his other senses on his favorite waves.


Last Updated on Dec 20, 2020 by About Basque Country

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