6 Surf Stories from Covelong Point Classic Surf Contest
The third annual Covelong Point Classic Surf & Music festival was held from September 18-20th which saw the Asian Surfing Championships happening for the first time in India. The event was of a massive scale and has gone on to become one of the most widely talked about festivals in the country. Here are some of the defining moments from all the surfing action!
When the waves get good at Covelong Point, it gets increasingly difficult to maintain position in water and do water photography. Although, I prefer to shoot close-ups, I got this one from a wider perspective showing the surfer holding the line on a wave with the beautiful backlit from morning sun.
Contests are heart breaking at times for athletes and spectators. Rina Kitazawa had just come to India after winning Maldives Open and was in red hot form to win Covelong Point Classic Surf Contest. As expected, she made it into the finals which was a see-saw contest with Pua Johnson from Bali. Rina needed a 6.4 to win against Pua at the dying minutes of the finals and she indeed caught an epic barrel ride to finish off which was widely cheered by the spectators and everyone expected her to win, Rina too profusely prayed with folded hands hoping judges would give her enough points to win against her opponent but judges were only able to give her 5.1 which wasn't enough to win against Pua Johnson. It was indeed a heart wrenching for experience for her and spectators.
Personally, I have followed Dede Suryana (West Java) and Raditya Rondi (Bali) for a while now and knew that they were some of the leading surfers in Asian Surfing circuit. I was itching to see them surf during the contest and as expected they brushed aside every other competitor to make it to the finals of Men's Open Division of Covelong Point Classic Surf Contest. Although, Dede Suryana was the standout surfer throughout the contest with his high scores and exciting surfing, it was Raditya Rondi who rode his luck at the finals where he carefull stacked up enough score with some precision surfing to win against Dede Suryana. The most surprising thing for surfers, spectators and everyone else was when the locals picked up both Raditya & Dede after the finals for the winning lap with local drums playing high with beats. A significant moment that surfing has truly arrived in India :)
The picture was taken during the free sessions before the National Surfing Championships began that morning. The conditions were glassy with 3-4 foot waves and most of the surfers were charging for barrels. Ajith, the local surfer got a couple of seconds under the barrel before wiping out where he got buried inside and only the board was visible, the light was magical.
Jonty Rhodes has played a pivotal role in surfing gaining popularity in India with his regular appearances during the surfing events. This time he made it all the way from South Africa just to be part of the Covelong Point Classic Surf & Music festival as the ambassador for Surfing Federation of India. Jonty is as commited as he is with his surfing too!
You can't miss Murthy no matter where you are during the festival. In water, on land, day and night he's busy making sure about 101 things concerning the festival. Murthy, finding time to charge like a madman amidst all the festivities.
(Obviously, all opinions expressed here are of mine and doesn't represent the views of any organisation or partners which I may be affliated to.)