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Wave hello to the annual Covelong Festival

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Put on your sunglasses and let the wind mess up your hair as the annual Covelong Festival, with surfing, live music and scrumptious food, is back

In Chennai, this is the season we get our beach bods ready. For it’s time for the annual Covelong Point Surf.Music.Yoga Festival, an event that’s made itself a permanent fixture in most festival hoppers’ calendars. The sixth edition will take place from August 17 to 19 at Covelong.

While Friday is for the serious surfers and sports enthusiasts, the actual festival with all the music, entertainment and scrumptious food will unfold on Saturday and Sunday. “The qualifying rounds will be conducted on Friday. There are around 150 surfers participating this time,” says Arun Vasu, chairman and managing director, TT Logistics and Cargo and founder of the festival along with Murthy Megavan and Yotam Agam. Among the surfers is a 10-member team from Sri Lanka that is here on an exchange programme. “The other participants are from Maldives, Australia, Bangladesh...” says Arun.

The participation has swelled over the years. This time there are around 40 entries from Kovalam and 15 from Mamallapuram. The categories include U-12, U-16, Juniors (17 to 22), Seniors (23 to 30), Masters (31 years and above), Women (all ages) and an Open category (Foreign Nationals). According to Arun, the U-16 is the most popular category with at least 20 entries already. This time, there is also a “fun kayaking race. Anybody can team up with a pro and participate,” adds Arun. Other than the surfing competition, the other segment that draws a crowd is the annual catamaran race.

The festival, and the surfing culture it propagates, has helped boost the local economy. There are locals who have opened out their houses as bed and breakfasts, the nearby hotels are almost full, and the fishermen community also gets to showcase its culinary skills with food stalls at the event. Nisha’s fish fry, Prem’s sandwiches, Sikendir Baba biryani, Sekar’s corn, and Yoga Anand juice stall are some of the kiosks set up by them. In addition, there is Truly Scrumptious, Bayleaf OTG, Shmoozies, Burger man, Southish, That Waffle Place, Uncle Sam’s kitchen, The Papad House, Kipling Café, Maggevala, Amdavadi, Amadora and more. And after an hour of acro yoga, if you’re too guilty to indulge there’s always Yoga Bar and Raw Pressery. There are various yoga sessions spread over two days, along with parkour and self defence sessions. Or you can add some thrills to your exercise through adventure sports like rock climbing, slack-lining and trampoline jumps.

Over the years, live bands have been another constant at this fest. This time, the line-up includes Indus Creed, The F-16s, Kulam, Sapta, The Broadway Addicts, Amrit Rao and The Madrascals, and performances by Mali, Brodha V, Afrontal Dance Crew among others. There’s retail therapy too. Fret not if you turn up without your swimming gear. You can pick a trendy style from PA.NI swimwear and shop at Nicobar, The Asana Shop, Angi, Rural Effort, A Plus and Weaver.

The Covelong Point Surf.Music.Yoga Festival is on from August 17 to 19 at Covelong. For details, log onto www.covelongpoint.com

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Printable version | Dec 10, 2019 4:45:26 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/travel/wave-hello-to-the-annual-covelong-festival/article24703151.ece

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