From left: Sri Lankan Airline Corporate Event and Promotions Manager Gayan Peiris, SLTPB Chairman Kishu Gomes, Tourism Development Minister John Amarathunga, Lanka Sportreizen Chairman P. T. Weerasinghe, Regional Manager Asia and Global VNR Producer World Surf League Steve Robertson and Surfing Federation of Sri Lanka President Hiran Ukwatte. – Pic by Sameera Wijesinghe
- WSL Qualifying Series sets sights on perfect points of Sri Lanka
Excitement is building ahead of the 2019 So Sri Lanka Pro World Surf League WSL Men’s Qualifying Series (QS) 3000 Event. The event, which will be held on the pristine point breaks of Arugambay later this month, was officially launched yesterday with a press conference in Colombo where members of World Surf League (WSL), Sri Lankan Surfing Federation and the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotions Bureau along with Lanka Sportreizen (LSR) celebrated this milestone in Sri Lankan surfing history.
With approximately 100 competitors from more than 20 nations WSL said they are prepared to put forward a world class event. “The WSL are truly excited to be holding a QS event of this size in the beautiful Arugambay Sri Lanka,” said WSL Australia Pacific and Asia General Manager Andrew Stark in a media release.
“Giving our surfers the opportunity to compete for QS points in world-class waves is something we are proud of, and the long perfect waves of Arugambay fit this profile perfectly. We’d like to thank all stakeholders involved for the support in getting this event up and running in 2019 and look forward to watching the positive effect the event will not only have on the local surf community in Sri Lanka but on the career of one of our up and coming QS hopefuls.”
The last time the WSL held a Men’s Event in Sri Lanka, it was won by perennial World Title threat Julian Wilson. He used the result to build momentum that season and eventually found himself qualifying for the Elite Championship Tour. “It’s awesome to see the WSL is returning to Sri Lanka. I have great memories of winning the last time an event ran there in really fun waves and it was the springboard for a successful WQS campaign that year,” said Wilson in a release.
Meanwhile speaking at the media briefing, World Surf League Asia Tour Manager Steve Robertson added: “Surveys show youth right throughout middle America aspire to surf, and it’s the same all over the world. And it’s particularly relevant in a country like Sri Lanka, where the youth are on the coastline, the waves are super friendly, and you have a lot of Sri Lankan surfers developing now.
“As such, I am excited to be back for a WSL Event in Sri Lanka again. I also really have to thank the following very key organisations.
“First and foremost the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau as the main Sponsor of the event; Sri Lankan Airlines of course as the Official Airline Partner, they understand the global surfing community and its outstanding relevance for travel; Jeep as the Automotive Partner, who are great supporters of World Surfing; LSR, as the Event Partner their professionalism has been amazing; the Prime Minister’s Office as a strategic partner they have ensured all parties working together for Sri Lanka; the endorsement from the Ministry of Sports and the National Olympic Committee; and finally the Surfing Federation of Sri Lanka, whose tireless efforts have made this event happen.” The So Sri Lanka Pro 2019 will also serve as a huge opportunity for some of the local surfers to take on the international professionals as wildcard entrants in the event. This opportunity is something that has been made possible through the World Surf League and the Surfing Federation of Sri Lanka. “It will be so amazing to have the World Surf League come back to Sri Lanka,” said Sri Lankan Surfing Federation President Hiran Ukwatte. “We can’t wait to witness a world-class event and watch the positive affect it will have on Surf Sports/Surf Tourism in our country and on surf tourism to the area. Arugambay has world-class waves with some fantastic local surfers and these surfers are looking forward to the opportunity to compete and surf with surfers from all around the world.”
The 2019 So Sri Lanka Pro Men’s QS 3000 will run from 25-29 September. Head to www.worldsurfleague.com or the WSL App for more information.