Three-time world champion surfer, world champion cyclist and previous world record holder - they're just three of the items on blind Paralympian Matt Formston's impressive CV. When you consider the 44-year-old only has one per cent of vision remaining in his left eye and three per cent in his right, it's easy to see why he's an inspiration. The father-of-three was diagnosed with macular dystrophy as a five-year-old, but he didn't let that hurdle stop him from competing at the highest level. Formston thought his career as a professional sportsman had run its course following the completion of the 2016 Rio Paralympics where he competed as a cyclist. Now with surfing the focus, he will be one of the competitors to beat when the Para Surfing Titles arrive in Port Macquarie on NSW's North Coast on August 20 as part of the Australian Surfing Championships. Port Macquarie surfer Samba Mann will be Formston's 'spotter' when the contest starts and the duo have already formed a successful partnership. "I won my first world title with Samba in 2017 and we're doing Aussies together this year as well," Formston said. Mann is Formston's eyes when out in the surf, using short, sharp words and phrases to guide the him onto a wave. "He'll say 'out' which is further towards the horizon, 'in' which is towards the beach and then 'north' or 'south' which manoeuvres me into the right position," Formston said. "Anything that ends with an 'o' I'll stop straight away because it sounds like no and that could be dropping in on someone. "If that happens, you lose points in competition." Outside of a 12-month break last year, Formston is unbeaten in the last three adaptive surfing world championship events since he finished his career as a cyclist at Rio. It was after a mate had informed him of the 2016 ISA World Adaptive Surfing Championships which were taking place at La Jolla, California at the time. "I had a running joke with one of my mates where he said to me 'imagine if you could compete against all the other blind [surfers]," Formston said, laughing. "I always had a dream of being a pro surfer, but it wasn't really a thing for me at the time because I was blind." Then in 2016 the opportunity arose. "He said to me 'you'll never bloody believe it, they're going to let you... compete against each other'." IN OTHER NEWS: Upon arriving home from Rio, Formston then investigated what it would require to gain selection for the Australian adaptive surfing team. It required a change of plan to chase a different dream and while he still hung up his bike post-Rio, Formston had to take his surfing a bit more seriously. "Surfing with my mates is what I love to do, so I rang Surfing Australia and said 'I'm a guy that likes to set goals," he said. "I wanted to know what I needed to do to stay out of the pub and off the streets and try to get onto the [Australian] team for 2017." As it happened, an adaptive surfing competition was taking place on the Gold Coast that weekend where Formston was told that if he performed well, he would be on the team. With the backing of wife Rebecca, the family headed north where he won the event and the rest is history. "She said 'let's make it a family holiday and you probably won't go any good because you haven't been surfing much, but if you do we can manage it'." He hasn't looked back. Formston said learning to surf as a blind athlete hasn't been as difficult as some might think. "I've surfed my whole life since I was five and my dad pushed me into waves so I just learned to surf on a bodyboard and learned to feel the waves," he said. "When I was about 11 I learned to surf standing up and now I'm 44, so I've been surfing for a long time in some form or another. "It's a lot of practice to be able to feel the waves the way I do, but there's been a lot of stacks."