Over 100 surfers from India (Goa, Tamilnadu, Karnataka, Mumbai, Lakshwadeep) and abroad (Australia, USA and France) have assembled in the beach town of Mangalore to vie for top spot in the 3 day India Open Surfing at the Sasihithlu beach. The competition will see both men and women vie for the top spot in seven different categories including u-16 juniors, seniors, and masters. The International Surfing Association and Surfing Federation of India has recognized the event which is a part of Karnataka Surfing Festival supported by Karnataka Tourism.
The competition will have participation from India’s first woman surfer Ishita Malviya along with top seeded Indian women surfers Sinchana Gowda and Anisha Naik to name a few. They will be joined by Dharini Selvakumar, Dhruv and Appu Manikandan amongst the men. The open championship will see internationally renowned participants like Bazile Pinel, Dylan Imhoff and Dustin Ellison.
Kishore Kumar, president, Surfing Federation of India expressed his thanks to Karnataka Tourism for their support to host the event and create such a novel property which shall promote Karnataka’s coastal line as an international surfing destination.
This inaugural edition is open to public. The Competition shall start at 7.30am on all days. Arrangement for various entertainment programmes and food festival has been kept alongside to keep viewers and tourists engaged and entertained. Local artists, musicians and rock bands from the state will be seen enthusing the audience and surfers with some great performances.
It’s however interesting to note that at a time when billions are being splashed merely in the betting money for IPL, this one of its kind sport has been able to attract a meagre amount of Rs 6 lakh as prize money across categories to winners and runners up.
The sporting priorities of the nation need to certainly change from the sheer business of cricket.