Sri Lanka to make waves at world surfing | Sunday Observer

Sri Lanka to make waves at world surfing

Beautiful Arugam Bay in the east coast of Sri Lanka will become a world famous venue for windsurfing events in the future as the venue will see the conduct of the So Sri Lanka Pro World Surf League WSL event that will attract about 124 surfers from 22 countries.

The World League which was officially launched on Wednesday (4), will be held from September 25 to 29 and top surfers from around the world will compete.

Members of the World Surf League, Sri Lanka Surfing Federation and the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotions Bureau along with Lanka Sportreizen attended the launch of this milestone event at the premises of NOC of Sri Lanka.

The standard is so high at the World League that Sri Lankans will have to face a qualifying event on September 23 and 24. Only eight surfers stand to receive a wild card entry.

The last time an event of World Class Surfing was held at Arugam Bay in 2011, Julian Wilson became the first World Champion surfer and remained champion for a long time. This was revealed by Hiran Ukwatte, the president of the Sri Lanka Surfing Federation.

“This event will focus on the attraction of the venue in Sri Lanka which is considered world class. This will also enhance tour promotions to Sri Lanka in the future,” added Ukwatte.

“As it is an Olympic sport, Sri Lankan surfers need to capitalize on these conditions and uplift their standard and qualify to participate in the Olympic Games in 2020,” he noted.

Steve Robertson of Australia who is the Manager of the World Surf League Asia Tour and is back for the event, said that he was impressed with the natural scenic locations of Sri Lanka and is happy to be working with the Sri Lanka group.

“Arugam Bay is thriving to attract tourists and surfers from around the world. It is an amazing location with ideal wave power and winds to suit the occasions. It took many tasks and obstacles to organize the event, with the Easter terror attack threatening to stall the event.

“Then after it was confirmed that the country was safe and with Lanka Sportreizen coming in, the organizing was put together,” said Robertson.

Chairman of Lanka Sportreizen Thilak Weerasinghe is a veteran water sports lover for all seasons and said that water sport thrives in Sri Lanka because of the warm water prevalent throughout the year.

“Sri Lanka also has the natural resources which are not available in other countries. We have big waves for big events. Places like Arugam Bay, Hikkaduwa, Mirissa, just to name a few, are the most suitable venues for surfing where the waves count about 15 points,” said Weerasinghe.

Kishu Gomes, Chairman of Tourism Promotions revealed that Sri Lanka has become so famous for its tourism that the island has won the first prize for Adventure Tourism, an award to be presented in Vietnam later this month.

“The event which falls on World Tourism day on September 27 is also important for tourism in Sri Lanka. This event will attract more tourists to Sri Lanka as it is now confirmed that Sri Lanka is a safe country to visit,” added Gomes.

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