The 8th edition of the Covelong Surf, Music and Fitness Festival is all set and will hit the beaches of Covelong from tomorrow here in Kovalam. The three-day multi-event festival will decide the National Champions in Surfing where over 80 surfers from the country will participate in it and various surfers from Sri Lanka and the Maldives will be competing in International Open Category.
The Covelong Classic Surfing Championship will see top men's and women's surfers from across the country vie for the top spots under seven categories in surfing. The surfing categories for the championship are as follows - Novice (U12); Groms (U16); Juniors (17-22 years); Seniors (23-30 years); Masters (31 years and above); Women (all ages); Open Category (Foreign Nationals).
The Covelong Classic is one of India's most coveted and top surfing competitions that takes place alongside a vibrant festival that attracts hordes of enthusiasts from across the globe and has fast become a pilgrimage site of sorts for surfers, artists, musicians, fitness buffs and free spirits. This year, the music line-up includes popular bands like Shanka Tribe, Sapta, Driftwood, RJD, Ta Dhom Project, Many Roots Ensemble, Saaki, MS Krsna, East Coast Movement and many more musicians from across the country who will perform alternative rock, Indie pop, soothing acoustics, punk rock and a medley of experimental soundscapes.
The thoughtfully curated line-up of Fitness Workshops features everything from Parkour & Animal Flow to India's first Pets Yoga experience - 'Pawga', Silambam, Calisthenics and more. The festival also features a vibrant flea market, food stalls, art installations and beachside activities - a carnival of culture set against the beautiful Bay of Bengal.
Arun Vasu, President of Surfing Federation of India said, "This is going to be one of the biggest events of the SFI this year and we want to create a festival of all sorts around the National Championships. Our goal is to make Surfing accessible to everyone and such events will bring more participation from people."
In the build up to the Covelong Surf Festival the 'Stand Up Paddle National Championships' were held in which defending champion Sekar Patchai and Gayatri Juvekar won the National Championship in Men's and Women's categories respectively.
The conditions were beautiful as the morning saw good winds and waves ideal for paddling making Kovalam Beach, a picturesque point, were the surfers geared up for the SUP (Long Distance) Championship. A day event, under the aegis of the Surfing Federation of India was hosted by Surf Turf, a premier surfing school here in Kovalam. They will also be hosting the Covelong Surf, Music and Fitness Festival which starts tomorrow.
Kovalam born and a product of Surf Turf School, Sekar Patchai who is the defending champion from the third edition of the Indian Open Surfing, again maintained his domination in SUP and maintained his position of the best paddler in the country. Sekar managed to match his previous time by finishing a Long Distance SUP regatta of 12km in 1 hour 22 minutes (82 minutes) in Men's category. Another two Surf Turf products and local lads, Manikandan M and Santhosan S completed the regatta in 1 hour 26 minutes (86 minutes) and 1 hour 30 minutes (90 minutes) respectively.
Speaking on his win, National SUP Champion (Long Distance) in Men's category, Sekar Pachai told, "The conditions were a bit tricky today as I had to fight not only the other competitors but also the conditions. It is a good feeling to retain the title and will be looking forward for the upcoming championships".
In the Women's Category, there was tough competition between Gayatri Juvekar and Vilassini Sundar in which Gayatri crossed the finishing line just 90 seconds ahead of Vilassini. The long-distance regatta of 6 km was successfully completed by Gayatri in 1 hour 04 minutes (64 minutes) while Vilassini Sundar finished in 1 hour 5 minutes (65 minutes). Defending champion, Monica P finished third in the regatta by finishing in 1 hour, 09 minutes (69 minutes).
Gayatri Juvekar after winning the Championship in Women's category, said "I am quite happy to win the national SUP title. My aim was to enjoy the race first which helped me to perform my best. I am happy that I was able to improve my place in long-distance SUP from Palkbay National Championship where I was placed second." (ANI)