A whole new chapter in the history of Sri Lankan surfing recently began with the acceptance of Sri Lanka’s new Surfing Federation of Sri Lanka (SFSL) to the International Surfing Association (ISA) family.
Membership was confirmed by the President of the ISA Fernando Aguerre on the 22nd February. With lots of hard work done by both the ISA and the SFSL over the last two years to achieve the goal of membership, it’s the start of a bright future for Sri Lankan Surfing.
A great example of the work being done in Sri Lanka was the first of a series of National Surfing Championships. The first one took place in the historic surf town of Hikkaduwa.
Run by the Surfing Federation of Sri Lanka the contest was super successful. Thanks to the backing of local businesses and especially the help of Mambo’s which was the site of all the social side of the contest and awards ceremony.
56 competitors took part in the two day event coming from all over Sri Lanka, representing the newly formed and growing club scene.
The whole contest ran like clockwork, which was so pleasing for all, and a real credit to the Surfing Federation of Sri Lanka’s organisational skills. It was also great to see the ever-present safety back up of the Life Saving Association of Sri Lanka.
The surfing was always solid, but perhaps the star of the show was the main point break of Hikkaduwa itself which just went totally off for the competition. Normally a dominant left with some rights, this time the A-frame peak produced two days of good lefts and stunning rights with many barrel sections to be had.
The level of surfing in all rounds was excellent and with a tight A-frame take off area there could have been many close interference calls, but the real sportsmanlike attitude of all the competitors made for an incident-free contest.
The semi’s and final were super tight affairs with the final clinching maneuvers going to winner Lesitha Prabath with two consecutive over vertical off-the-tops on a reeling right.
This was the first of a series of three National Championships to decide a selection squad for our hopeful attendance at the next ISA World Surfing Games in Japan. We are all looking forward to the next meeting of Sri Lanka surfing talent at the end of March down south.
First Place: Lesitha Prabath of Arugam Bay Surf Club
Second Place: Babu of Arugam Bay Surf Club
Third Place: Lakshita (“Lucky”) of Weligama Surf Club
Watch out world .. the Sri Lankan Lion is about to roar!
For more great pictures of the comp and the story behind it check out: https://ceylonsliders.com/writing-history-first-national-surf-comp-sri-lanka/
All photos courtesy of SFSL.