Tuesday June 15, 2010: Colombo Sri Lanka: A large assembly of dedicated Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) athletes are now making their way to the exotic south east coastline of Sri Lanka for the inaugural ASP six star rated SriLankan Airlines Pro which is set to begin on Friday at Arugam Bay.
It’s the first ever ASP event in Sri Lanka as ASP Australasia breaks new ground venturing into a territory that holds fascination with stories dating back to the 1970’s of pioneering surfers finding super consistent and perfect waves on this lush island.
The June monsoonal winds and a very active winter Indian Ocean combine to make Arugam Bay the surf location that it is and the field descending on the break this week will put the wave to the test like never before as they chase essential six star rating points and a prize pool of $US145 000!
Elite world tour surfers Drew Courtney, Dan Ross and Blake Thornton head the field with an array of international talent like recent six star winner Aritz Aranburu (Spain), former ASP world champion Sunny Garcia (Hawaii), South Africa’s David Weare, Masotoshi Ohno from Japan, Richard Christie (NZ) and Alan Stokes (UK) to name just a few of the surfers heading for this wave.
Even the contest organizers are uncertain what to expect from Arugam Bay however contest director Dane Jordan from ASP Australasia is optimistic the venue will deliver.
“I’ve spent five days there in three years preparing for this event and I have seen it break with excellent shape and consistency.
“ I’ve surfed the break and it’s a super high performance wave – I’m not so familiar to know the exact prime swell directions, tides, winds and all else but indications are there’s a 17 second period 8 feet south swell forecast for Saturday and I’m imagining that could be an ideal starting point” exclaimed Jordan.
“I’ll liaise closely with a good bunch of local surfers and we have a very healthy waiting period to get the best out of this and the rest we’ll leave to the surfers who I know will shred the daylight out of these waves.”
Jordan also announced the final make –up of the wild card surfers into this event headed by exciting Japanese surfer Osawa Nobuyuki and backed up by equally exciting Australian’s Mitch Colborne, Davey Cathels and Chris Friend.
Extra wild-cards will be awarded to Sri Lankan surfers who will compete under an ASP assisted trials for these positions.
Asanka, widely regarded as the number 1 surfer in Sr iLanka and also owner of the restaurant and land right on the point is a favourite to take one of these positions and in his best English commented on the opportunity and the event saying –
“I think good the tournament for our boys! All the local boys are happy. It gives us chance to make our surfing better. Also for rest of Sri Lanka to see how good our boys surf and how much surfing good for country.”
Like all new locations that ASP surfers explore, there will be rich and positive sharing’s of all things surfing in a quality event that should benefit all.
The SriLankan Airlines Pro will be live webcast and will include a quality produced and globally distributed television show along with television newsfeeds distributed internationally throughout the event as well as highest quality digital images focusing on the event, the environment, wildlife and of course the abundance of surf from the region.
The SriLankan Airlines Pro is made possible thanks to SriLankan Airlines; Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau, Lanka Sportreizen, Dialog, Billabong and ASP Australasia