Former India tennis star Somdev Devvarman, pulled his weight behind Surfing, predicting a bright future for the now Olympic sport in India.
Speaking at the official launch ceremony of the sixth Covelong Point Surf, Music & Yoga festival, Somdev revealed that he had been an avid surfer himself and hoped that the fantastic work done by the Kovalam, Chennai based Covelong Point Surf School over the years, was replicated across the coasts of India, so that the country can take advantage of the sport being included in the Olympics in Tokyo 2020.
The three-day festival is scheduled for August 17-19, 2018, and will see close to 170 wave riders from 10 nations compete for top honours, including defending champions in both the Menâ€™s and Womenâ€™s categories, namely Raghul Paneerselvam and Suhasini Damian respectively.
Chennai based TT Group are the principle promoters for the Covelong Point Surf Music and Yoga Festival 2018. Eva, Skore and Radiance Realty are the presenting sponsors while LMW are one of the co- sponsors. The Covelong Point Surf Championship is approved by the Surfing Federation of India.
10 Sri Lankan surfers, 4 from Bangladesh and 3 surfers from Maldives will be amongst the participants competing at the Covelong Point Surfing Championship. In a move to strengthen Indiaâ€™s position in the surfing map for South EastÂ AsiaÂ the Surfing Federation of India has inked a historic deal with the Sri Lanka Surfing Federation. Surfers from both the countries would be participating in official competitions across the coasts in both countries as a part of this agreement.
“Great to see so many youngsters taking up surfing”
At the media event, Somdev, a Padmashree and Arjuna awardee, said,â€� I never used to swim before but in the last 2-3 years I am just hooked to surfing. As an athlete it is amazing to see surfing pick up as a sport. Surfing is potentially one of the more popular sports across many parts of the world and itâ€™s heartening to see the sport pick up in India. Given that the sport is now going to be a part of the Olympics itâ€™s great to see so many youngsters taking up surfing because itâ€™s from here that we might even have our future Olympiansâ€�
Mr. Arun Vasu, Chairman & MD, TT Group, who are the principle promoters of the event, expressed his happiness saying, â€œThe association with Covelong has been nothing short of exhilarating. It is hugely satisfying to see the sport grow so much in such short time and the skills of young Indian surfers are going up with every passing year. If this momentum carries on, we hope to make a splash at Tokyo 2020 and it will be great to see a winner at Covelong don India colours and make all of us proud. The TT Group is committed to do everything we can to boost the sport further in the country and hope it brings the country Olympic glory one day. We are grateful to stars like Somdev and Jonty for lending their active support and continuing support to our humble endeavors.â€�
About the event
The premier surfing competition will see top menâ€™s and womenâ€™s surfers from across the country and abroad vie for the top spots under seven categories. The surfing categories for the championship are as follows –Â Â Novice (U12); Groms (U16); Juniors (17-22 Years); Seniors (23-30 Years); Masters (31 Years and above); Women (all ages); Open Category (Foreign Nationals). This year the Stand Up Paddling (SUP) raceÂ is being organised more as a recreation race to encourage and promote the sport amongst many SUP enthusiasts.
â€œCovelongÂ Point for over five editions has always lived up to providing some of the best surfers in the country. Competitions like these are very important for the future of the sport in India and it is through these competitions that we would see many other take the bigger stage at the global stage “, highlightedÂ Rammohan Paranjpe, Vice President – Surfing Federation of India.
This year some of the top names to be seen in action would include defending champions Raghul Paneerselvam (Winner 2017 â€“ Seniors Category) and Suhasini Damian (Winner 2017 â€“ Women All Age Group Category), Ajeesh Ali (Winner â€“ Groms (U16) Category) along with well known surfers like Sekar Pitchai, MurthyÂ MevaganÂ who also is the founder of the Covelong Point Surf School, Dharini Selvakumar and Vilassini Sundar who finished as the second runnerâ€™s up in the competition last year.
Sekhar Pitchai, Winner of Thailand Open 2018 Winner; 10 time National SUP Champion, who looked all set to make a lasting impact on the festival saidÂ â€œThis festival has always given an opportunity to the surfers to excel In the sport. Over the years the level of competition has grown immensely and I am really looking forward to it.â€�.
Ms. Vilassini Sundar, Surfer and 2nd Runners Up at Covelong Point Surfing ChampionshipÂ said, “I want to improve the technical aspect and my skills through this competition. The surfing competition gets tougher every year and surely, it’ll continue to raise the bar this year too. I have to step up to compete along with others in the forthcoming surfing competition. It’s a great opportunity to develop new skills and tune in to be competitive.”
The Covelong Point Surf.Music.Yoga Festival 2018 festival is one of most coveted and Indiaâ€™s top surfing competition. This year the festival would includeÂ mesmerisingÂ musical performances from across a wide array of genres including the Iconic 90â€™s Indie-Rock band â€˜Indus Creedâ€™ along with Chennaiâ€™s leading electronic band â€˜Saptaâ€™ and The F16s a Dance/Punk band from Bengaluru amongst many other performances over the weekend. Renowned acroyoga instructor Shakti Shilpa, Divya Srinivasan and Rohini Manohar are a few names who would be taking a few yoga sessions at the festival. Apart from these visitors canÂ witnessÂ and participate in some exciting adventureÂ sportÂ activities like Slack Lining, Rock Climbing, Obstacle Race and satiate their taste buds through some excellent local cuisines at the food gallery.
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Source: Matchday Frolics