Surfing begins amid challenging conditions

A surfer in action at the India Open of Surfing 2022 on Panambur Beach in Mangaluru on Friday. Over 70 top surfers from across India are participating in the three-day event.

A surfer in action at the India Open of Surfing 2022 on Panambur Beach in Mangaluru on Friday. Over 70 top surfers from across India are participating in the three-day event. | Photo Credit: PTI

Panambur Beach here was buzzing with action from early in the morning on Friday marking the beginning of the third edition of the Indian Open of Surfing.

The three-day premier surfing competition of India is the official national championship of the Surfing Federation of India, the governing body for the sport of surfing and stand-up paddling.

Chennai’s Groms surfer, Kishore Kumar, stunned everyone with his performance under testing conditions as he made his way into the semifinals with the highest score of 14.50.

The other surfers who obtained high scores from the judges were Manikandan D. (12.6), Ramesh Budhial (12.33), Surya P. (11.9), Sathish Saravanan (11.9) and Ajeesh Ali (11.66).

The first day’s rounds saw Tamil Nādu surfers dominate the proceedings in both the men’s open and Groms (U16) categories. A total of 16 surfers from the men’s open surf category will battle it out in the quarterfinals on Saturday morning to book a slot for the semi-finals that are scheduled to be held later in the day.

The quarter finalists in the men’s open category are Manikandan D., Raghul P., Surya P., Srikanth D., Harish M., Ruban V., Vignesh V., Sathish Saravanan, Ajeesh Ali, Sivaraj Babu, Manikandan M., Manivannan T., Nithishvarun T., Ramesh Budhial, Sanjaikumar S. and Santhosan S.

Manikandan D., who received the highest score of 12.6 on Friday from the judges in the men’s open surf category, said: “The conditions were challenging and competition was equally challenging. The field for Saturday’s quarterfinals is very strong and anyone can make their way into the semifinals. My only objective will be to surf in my natural style and make my way into the semifinals.”

Ramesh Budhial, State’s top performer and the only hope in the men’s open category, said: “I would like to thank Surfing Federation of India for hosting the Indian Open of Surfing in Mangaluru. The waves were testing on Friday and the competition was tough, but I am happy that I could make my way through to the quarterfinals. Now, my aim is to give my best for the quarterfinals to find a place in the semifinals on Saturday.”

The Groms (U16) category saw a clean sweep by Tamil Nadu surfers as seven of the eight semifinalists came from that State. Likhit S. from Mangaluru is the only semifinalist in the category to keep Karnataka’s hopes alive. The other semifinalists are Kishore Kumar, Jeevan S., Logesh S., Naveenkumar R., Jeevanathan I., Tayin Arun and Ranjith Kumar.

Speaking after booking his semifinal slot, Kishore Kumar said: “I wasn’t surfing at my best on Friday, as the waves are different here than what I am used to back home in Chennai. However, I am happy that I could do well and find my place in the semifinals. I hope when I take on the waves on Saturday, I am much more comfortable and can put in a better performance and find a place in the finals the day after.”

Earlier, on Friday, the day began with an energetic performance from students of Alva’s Education Foundation, Moodbidri, who showcased a pulsating popular drum dance form called Dollu Kunitha. This was followed by the official opening of the competition by guest of honour A.V. Ramana, Chairman, New Mangalore Port Authority.

The competition is jointly being hosted by the Mantra Surf Club and is supported by the State Tourism Department.

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Printable version | Jun 30, 2022 1:24:41 pm |