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    Why the Covelong Point Surf & Music Festival attracts both experts and day-trippers from Chennai

    AFTER sweating it out at Pondicherry’s Summer Swell Challenge, surfers can now head to Kovalam, which will host the second edition of the Covelong Point Surf and Music Festival. According to Yotam Agam, from Earth Sync (a production company), who is organising the event along with Murthy (a member of the fishing community) and a host of sponsors, this year’s surf competition will be bigger than the previous—with at least 150 surfers participating (there were more than 100 last year). The festival begins today and goes on till September 14, and will be kick-started with a celebrity run where actor Milind Soman will take the lead.

    Besides surfing, other beach side activities attracted a huge crowd of picknickers last year and this edition seems no different. Sign up for yoga and meditation classes or gravitate towards the skateboard ramp and volleyball matches. There will also be a participatory art installation called Let Go, by Mumbai-based artist Shreya Naik, and catamaran races with cash prizes for the winners. Food stalls are always a highlight and Agam says, “We have The Park and Subway putting up stalls. Also, people from the fishing community will have stalls offering fish fry, fish curry and biriyani. There will be confectioneries and sandwiches too.” With 15 countries participating like Australia and Maldives, Agam says surfing tourism is growing rapidly. “It is in its early days, and these competitions provide a platform to fishing communities to grow.” He concludes saying, “It is very easy to get hooked to this sport, it is almost addictive.”

    From 8 am onwards. Details: covelongpoint.com

    — Mrinalini Sundar

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