Inaugural International Surf Open to begin on August 14 at Mamallapuram
Mamallapuram, Tamil Nadu will play host to the inaugural International Surf Open, a World Surf League (WSL) event, from August 14 to August 20. The tournament will provide a platform for the Indian surfers to showcase their skills, according to Tamil Nadu Minister for Sports Udhayanidhi Stalin.
He said that it is another effort on the part of the state government to promote sports. "Surfing being an Olympic sport, it has become a priority...This international tournament offers a remarkable platform for our surfers to demonstrate their abilities and bring pride to our nation," the official told the press.
According to Arun Vasu, head of the Tamil Nadu Surfing Association and the Surfing Federation of India, the International Surf Open, a WSL QS 3000 competition, would draw competitors from 12 to 14 nations and 80 to 100 surfers.
He thanked the Tamil Nadu government for stepping forward to sponsor the event and stated that the goal was to develop talented kids and make India a major player in the international surfing scene.
"The TNSA would like to thank the TN government for its support and sponsorship in bringing this world-class event to the state. What started as a drop in the ocean 10 years ago in Kovalam has now put Tamil Nadu and India on the world map for surfing. Our focus in the next five years will be to train young kids and establish India as a force in the world surfing scene," Vasu added.
Udhayanidhi Stalin presented Vasu with a check worth Rs 2.67 crore that had been authorised by the Tamil Nadu government for the occasion. He provided information regarding the QS 3000 competition, stating that top surfers from Asia and Australia will compete for a total prize pool of USD 45,000 and 3,000 Tour points.
Additionally, surfers who weren't previously qualified for the Championship Tour events will be allowed to participate in the qualifying series of competitions and gain points for the Championship Tour competitions the following year.
The qualifying series consists of events at the QS 10,000, 5,000, 3,000, 1,500, and 1,000 level. Additionally, he stated that the WSL will award top Indian surfers with 10 wild cards. The TNSA and SFI would stage a series of three national-level surf events called "The East Coast Challenge" prior to the WSL-QS 3,000 event, with the best 10 surfers receiving wild card entries for the QS 3,000 competition.
The qualifying series competitions would take place in Puducherry on July 29 and 30, at the Covelong Classic on August 12 and 13, and at the Mahabalipuram Point Break Challenge on August 5. A four-person Indian team (three from TN and one from Karnataka) will compete in the ISA World Surfing Games 2023 in El Salvador in May and June, according to Vasu's other announcement.