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Tamil Nadu Surfers Dominate Day 1 Proceedings at Indian Open of Surfing 

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Mangaluru, May 31, 2024: The offshore winds welcomed surfers as the action began early on the inaugural day of the much-anticipated fifth edition of the Indian Open of Surfing at the tranquil Sasihithlu Beach in the port city of Mangalore. This three-day premier surfing competition in India is the official national championship of the Surfing Federation of India, the governing body for the sports of surfing and stand-up paddling. Tamil Nadu surfers dominated Day 1’s proceedings, outplaying surfers from other states and securing fifteen out of sixteen quarterfinal spots in the Men’s Open category. Top scores came from the top-seeded surfers, with the current fourth-ranked Sivaraj Babu (15.50) emerging as the highest scorer of the day, followed by Ajeesh Ali (15.33) and Srikanth D (13.50).

The fifth edition of the Indian Open of Surfing was declared open by Shri Mullai Muhilan M P, IAS, Deputy Commissioner of Dakshina Kannada. Other dignitaries present at the inaugural ceremony included Shri K.G. Nath, Deputy Chairman of the New Mangalore Port Authority (NMPA); Shri Jijo Thomas, Secretary of the New Mangalore Port Authority (NMPA); Shri Manikya, Deputy Director of the Tourism Department, Dakshina Kannada; Shri Rammohan Paranjape, Vice President of the Surfing Federation of India; and Shri Gaurav Hegde, Director of the Surfing Swami Foundation.

The first day’s rounds saw Tamil Nadu surfers take charge in the Men’s Open category. A total of 14 surfers will battle it out in the quarterfinals, scheduled for tomorrow morning, to book a slot in the semi-finals. The quarterfinalists in this category are Sivaraj Babu, Ajeesh Ali, Srikanth D, Harish M, Tayin Arun, Manivannan T, Sanjay Selvamani, Surya P, Sanjaikumar S, Manikandan M, Ruban V, Subramani M, Akilan S, and Manikandan I.

Dignitaries declaring the event open

Sivaraj Babu who received the highest score of 15.50 today from the judges in the men’s open category said, “The conditions today were a little tricky, but I felt good surfing in them as I got 8 waves in my heat and enjoyed all of them. I don’t feel any pressure for the knockouts; I’ll focus solely on my skills. I just want to keep rolling, catch as many waves as I can, play it safe, and have fun tomorrow and the day after.”

“We got really lucky with the conditions today because, for the last couple of days, the wind had set in at odd times, but today the forecast was accurate. We started on time, ran all the heats we planned, organized well, and witnessed some great surfing”, said, Nawaz Jabbar, Contest Director, Indian Open of Surfing.

Dignitaries Shri Muallai and KG Nath lighting the lamp

Shri Mullai Muhilan M P, IAS, Deputy Commissioner of Dakshina Kannada expressed his views during the inaugural ceremony, “Mulki is a premier surfing destination in the country, where the sport of surfing essentially began. Our vision is to make this place an international hub for Surfing and Stand-Up Paddling. Many renowned international surfing coaches have visited Mulki and acknowledged it as one of the best training grounds available. We aim to create an ecosystem for the locals where they can take up the sport from a very young age and excel at international levels, including the Olympics”,

Shri K.G. Nath, Deputy Chairman of the New Mangalore Port Authority (NMPA) expressed his views during the inaugural ceremony, “Since surfing is now an Olympic sport and quite popular globally, we were very keen to promote the sport in the country, especially in this region. NMPA is one of the major ports in India, and we have been witnessing ocean activities for a long time, so we wanted to be a part of it. We are happy to become the title sponsors of the prestigious Indian Open of Surfing, and we look forward to being part of many such events. I’m confident that this young generation will take more interest in the sport and bring laurels to the country.”

Earlier today, the day began with a popular drum dance form of Karnataka and Kerala, called Chende which was energetically performed by the locals. This was followed by the official opening of the Indian Open of Surfing competition.

The event has received major support from the New Mangalore Port Authority, which has been announced as the Title Sponsor for the first time. The Karnataka Government, the ‘Presented by’ sponsor, has extended its support to the event for the fifth consecutive year. Cycle Pure Agarbatti and Explurger (social media partner) have come on board as ‘Powered by’ sponsors for IOS.

 

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