Tamil Nadu surfers dominate inaugural day’s proceedings of Indian Open of Surfing

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Tamil Nadu surfers dominate inaugural day’s proceedings of Indian Open of Surfing

Mangaluru: The fifth edition of the Indian Open of Surfing got off at Sasihithlu Beach in Mangaluru on Friday with offshore winds welcoming surfers as the action began early on the inaugural day.

The three-day surfing competition 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 first day’s proceedings, outplaying surfers from other states and securing fifteen out of sixteen quarter final 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).

A total of 14 surfers will battle it out in the quarter finals, scheduled for Saturday morning, to book a slot in the semi-finals.

The quarter finalists 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, a release from the Federation said.

Sivaraj Babu who received the highest score of 15.50 on Friday from the judges in the men’s open category said: “The conditions were a little tricky on Friday, but I felt good surfing in them as I got eight waves in my heat and enjoyed all of them. I don’t feel any pressure for the knockouts. I will 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 on the day 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.

Deputy Commissioner of Dakshina Kannada M.P. Mullai Muhilan who inaugurated the event said the district administration wants to make Sasihithlu an international hub for Surfing and Stand-Up Paddling.

Many renowned international surfing coaches have visited Sasihithlu 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,” he said.

K.G. Nath, Deputy Chairman of the New Mangalore Port Authority (NMPA), and Rammohan Paranjape, Vice President of the Surfing Federation of India, and Gaurav Hegde, Director of the Surfing Swami Foundation, were also present.

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