Bentley is supporting Surfability, a surf school for people with additional needs, for its “Belonging Bentayga” campaign. As part of the project, the luxury car maker will back a team of Welsh adaptive surfers on their journey to the World Para Surfing Championships in California, exploring the feeling of belonging and community that surfing provides.
Bentley’s mission to be the most inclusive car manufacturer in the world sees the launch of the “Belonging Bentayga,” a unique hand-painted Alpine Green Bentayga Hybrid. The SUV features different skylines and well-known buildings from around the world, including New York, Paris, Rome, Milan, Venice, Tokyo, and Hong Kong, with each side of the car representing a new continent. The captivating, drivable artwork has been drawn from memory by Stephen Wiltshire MBE, an autistic British architectural artist who is known for his ability to draw from memory after seeing a landscape just once. The initiative is part of Bentley’s Beyond100 project, which outlines the brand’s commitments to sustainability and its future.
Bentley kindly gave Culted the keys to the “Belonging Bentayga” to drive to Swansea to catch up with Surfability – a Community Interest Company that provides surfing lessons and experiences for people with disabilities, illness, injury or learning difficulties. Surfability runs surf lessons at Caswell Bay all year round, alongside indoor skate lessons for surfers who find the winter water too cold. We were there as they prepared for the World Adaptive Surfing championships on November 5 at Pismo Beach in California. Bentley has been supporting these athletes in the run-up to the competition as part of its “Belonging Bentayga” initiative.
To get as many people in the water as possible, Surfability doesn’t just update their surfboards. They have adaptive facilities and equipment, too. Founder Ben Clifford talked us through some of the changes that make such a huge difference to Caswell Bay’s para surfers. “Having hoisted changing rooms at a beach, a changing table and then a ceiling track hoist just means we can include so many people in our sessions.” Wetsuits have added zips to make it as easy as possible to get kitted up and into the ocean. Clifford went on to explain that “if somebody does have different mobility, there’s very little wetsuit to have to push a limb through.”
Having the support of Bentley, who has partnered with Stephen Wiltshire, was a highlight for Clifford, who saw parallels between Stephen’s work and his pupils. “[A lot] of my students have got those superpowers like Stephen has. Just these incredible, incredible talents. It’s nice to be around people who think differently to you.”
Team GB para surfers were in town for the event, showing their support for the project and spotlighting the good work that Surfability does. They were in the water with the athletes and shared some tips with the team as part of their training.
Toby Williams is a senior coach at Surfabillty and also coaches with the Welsh national para surfing team. He shared one of the poignant memories he had from his time working on the project. “We had one guy; he hadn’t been in the sea for forty years, and we managed to get him back in, and he just cried the whole time, and his carers were crying.”
With the support of the Bentley as part of its “Belonging Bentayga” campaign, Surfability will head to California with the hope of bringing home a win. The World Para Surfing Championships will take place on November 5. Keep an eye on Surfability’s social media channels for updates on the team’s progress.
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