Mangaluru to host first surfing festival in state

Sasihithlu beach in the city is all ready to host the All Cargo Indian Open of Surfing’ from May 27 to 29 – the first surfing festival hosted in the state.

The surfing contest is organised jointly by the Department of Tourism, the Dakshina Kannada district administration, the Surfing Federation of India, the Mantra Surf Club and the Kanara Surfing and Water Sports Promotion Council. The event is recognised by the International Surfing Association and the Surfing Federation of India (SFI).

SFI President Kishore Kumar said that the surfing competition will go on from 7.30 am to 11.30 am and from 12.30 pm to 2.30 pm. “The surfers have started arriving from across the country to the venue and have started practising in the tide. A total of 85 participants have already registered for the competition and a few more are expected on the day of the competition,” he added.

A total of 15 to 20 surfers from Dakshina Kannada – including Aneesha Nayak, Sinchana Gowda, Deekshith Suvarna and Kiran Kumar – are taking part.

Contests
The competitions are - grooms (under 16), junior boys (17 to 22 years), senior men (22 to 28 years), masters men (28 and above) and open women category. There will be an open men’s category for international surfers as well. There will also be ‘Stand Up Paddle Race’ and ‘Kitesurfing Demo’ contests.

Deputy Commissioner A B Ibrahim has announced that interested students of Dakshina Kannada will be taught basic aspects of surfing with hands-on training at the backwaters near Sasihithlu on all the three days. The students have to register their names at the deputy commissioner’s office in Mangaluru for the training. The interested students should have knowledge on swimming, he instructed.

Free transport
The deputy commissioner said that free transport facilities have been arranged from Mukka on the National Highway 66 to the venue on all the three days. Apart from this, free auto services will be in place from the parking area to the venue, which is one-kilometre away, he added.

A separate press release from the organisers said that, in an endeavour to make the event spectator-friendly, Karnataka Tourism has also embarked on a major clean-up of the beach area with the motto, ‘Helping hand for surf and sand.’ This cleanup operation had attracted over 300 volunteers.

Local cuisine
Yathish Baikampady, one of the organisers, said, “Local women will sell local cuisine to the visitors in six counters at reasonable prices. The visitors can savour the local sea food delicacies as well.”

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