Arugam Bay, Sri Lanka – The local Sri Lankan surfers from Arugam bay and Hikkaduwa Surf Clubs, who received wildcard entries to the recent inaugural ASP 6 Star Sri Lankan Airlines Pro at Arugam Bay, did their country proud with solid performances against the topline international competitors who showed up for the event recently from 18 – 24 June.
The ASP granted 2 official wildcards for the local surfers to enter the main WQS event and test their skills against the pros. These were decided via the Surfing Sri Lanka Trials event which were staged two days prior on 16 and 17 June with the mini final being held on the 18th – the first day of the waiting period for the WQS event.
However due to some international surfers being absent for the event, additional spaces were also created for more local Sri Lankan surfers to enter the ASP contest and taste some real international competition action. Team Sri Lanka coaching staff Peter Rob-o and Tim Tanton were delighted with the performances of their local chargers who were up against some of the world’s best.
” We knew it would be a tall order to beat the seasoned pros from around the world but all of the Sri Lankan entrants gave a good account of themselves. It was a great opportunity for the surfers from Arugam Bay and Hikkaduwa to see and experience the real level of international competitive surfing here on their shores courtesy of the generosity of the ASP wildcard system.” explained Peter Rob-o.
“Until today, the local boys were the kings of their own beaches here in Sri Lanka and at the top of their game locally. Now after the WQS event, they know the standard of the next level to be attained if they wish to enter the professional surfing arena in the future and as a result have some real goals to aim at.” continued Rob-o. “
Whilst we here at Surfing Sri Lanka were disappointed that all of our wildcards departed the main event after only the first round, we want to thank the event sponsors Sri Lankan Airlines and the ASP for giving our surfers the opportunity to enter the Arugam Bay event and show us the level of work and training we now need to do in order to be ready for next year’s event.
This will surely raise the bar of performance surfing here in the future. It was also fantastic for the local community, kids and surfers to see their friends in the water mixing it with some of the world’s best and representing Sri Lankan surfing.”
Following two days of local competition at Main Point, Arugam Bay in good consistent swell conditions which ranged from 3 to 6 feet, the 8 finalists were decided for the Wildcard entries from around 50 local competitors who entered the Surfing Sri Lanka Trials. The results of the Trials event were:
1 W.L.U. Asanka (A Bay) 12;83 pts (Official winner of ASP Wildcard & Trials Trophy)
2. A.H.Milan (A Bay) 10.84 pts (Official winner of ASP Wildcard & Trials Trophy)
3. A.H. Pranith (A Bay) 9.20 pts
4. Natheen (Hikkaduwa) 7.93 pts
5. Sril Pranith ( A Bay) 7.33 pts
6. S. Susanthan (A Bay) 6.16 pts
7. A.H.Chanu ( A Bay) 5.44 pts
8. P. Pranjis ( A Bay) 4.84 pts
The final elimination heats for the Surfing Sri Lanka Trials were judged by the ASP World Tour judges to give the boys a feel for the procedure in the main event to follow.
The newly formed Surfing Federation of Sri Lanka would like to thank the ASP World Tour Head Judge Richard Porta, ASP judges and Tour Manager Dane Jordan for their kind assistance during the Trials event. A thank you to all of the event sponsors also – Sri Lankan Airlines, the Sri Lankan Tourism Board, Dialog and Keels.
The SFSL would also like to thank Quiksilver, Billabong and Indola Sports for their generosity and support of the Sri Lanka Surfing Federation in making these events a success. We look forward to it once again being staged in Sri Lanka in 2011.