Sandy feet, wind in the hair, surfboards in tow — if a slow motion is added into this already ideal mix, this is nothing short of a scene straight off a Hollywood romcom. To take it a notch higher — enter music, yoga and a carnival. To the background of waves rolling in, and children frolicking in the sand, the Covelong Point festival is closing in, this weekend for its seventh edition. Over the past seven years, the festival, which according to Arun Vasu, CMD at TT Logistics & Cargo is “Asia’s largest surf festival”, has played a big role in putting Covelong on the global map as a surfing destination — this year, a bigger, better version awaits.
What started as an attempt to promote Covelong Point surf school (which was set up eight years back), over seven years, has become a landmark event that supports the village and its people, apart from promoting tourism and the sport itself. A casual discussion between Arun, surfer Murthy Meghavan and Yotam Agam paved the way to an idea of a carnival. Arun Vasu, recalls, “We started very small, but were very overwhelmed by the response — we had close to 1,500 people, for the first edition itself.” Since then, the number has only soared. Last year, saw a footfall of 15,000 people. This year? “The response has been great; we are expecting over 20,000,” Arun confirms, adding that more people would be a challenge.
- This year’s Main Stage music show features three international bands/artistes and five Indian bands. The line-up is as follows:
- Blind Suns (France)
- Nadav Dagon (Israel)
- Yogev Haruvi (Israel)
- Lady Kash
- The Sylvester Trio
- Non Violinist Project
The surf school was started in an effort to provide alternative employment to the fisherfolk of the village: everyone employed at the school including the surfers, hails from Covelong. And so, the contribution of the village to the festival is also significant. “There will be about 50 stalls, selling merchandise, food and other items, by the local community. We have a whole section dedicated to this,” says Arun.
But what is different this year? “As far as surfing and stand-up paddle goes, we are bringing in the Asian surfing circuit, with about 30 international surfers from Bali, Thailand, Bangladesh and so on, coming in. This, we believe, is an opportunity for the locals to take part with professionals so that they can also up their skills,” continues Arun, adding that the yoga section, has a huge line-up with over 35 instructors and four yogashalas. There will also be food trucks and 50 stalls dedicated to food. On the beach, Wild Warrior Race, a fitness contest, will be held like last year. A village catamaran race will also be held with over eight to 10 boats taking part. There will be an entire area dedicated to kids, sponsored by Cult Fit, where children can participate in activities such as rock climbing and slacklining.
“What I take back every year during the festival, is that people from all walks of life come together. It is a mix of cultures and there are no barriers in the event. It has all the elements — from the serious part of surfing to food, music and games,” concludes Arun.
The Covelong Point Festival will be held from August 23 to August 25 at Covelong Point Surf School. For details log on to www.covelongpoint.com