Red Bull recently announced “Ride My Wave 2022” an international surfing championship to be held on 29th & 30th of January 2022 at the Hikkaduwa coast in the Southern Province of Sri Lanka. The event is open to amateur & pro surfers and is expected to give wiiings* to the local community by bringing alive a contest of skills where local and international competitors go neck to neck in a two-day long competition.
Through this programme, Red Bull aims to provide surfers the opportunity to showcase their talents as well as to promote the sport which is of wide global appeal. The surfer community in Sri Lanka, apart from contributing to the local economy via tourism, keeps the coast and surrounding environment in pristine condition – a fact that often goes unrecognized.
Sri Lanka has a strategic advantage as an island nation and thus can be promoted as a hub for surfing; in turn generating foreign revenue as well as providing lucrative livelihoods to the surfing and coastal community in Sri Lanka. What makes Sri Lanka’s demography ideal for surfing is the presence of different levels & types of waves for different levels of proficiency in the sport.
At the media briefing ahead of the event, Lakshitha Madushan aka Lucky’s story was presented to the audience in the form of a short documentary followed by a friendly discussion hosted by Ashan Dias. Lucky is a pro surfer who hails from the Southern part of Sri Lanka & has won global acclaim. The video documented his story and love for surfing and as a winner of Ride My Wave: “Sri Lanka has so much potential to develop surfing into an elite sport. Our country has an ocean surrounding it. When you come to Red Bull Ride My Wave you don’t just come to surf, you come to experience.”
In a congratulatory message, Minister of Youth & Sports Hon Namal Rajapaksa noted: “Surfing is a sport that gives both physical and mental relief. At the same time, it is also an Olympic sport. Our country holds many talented surfers. Giving them a platform to shine and showcase their skills is an endeavor we support Red Bull on. Surfing also greatly benefits the tourism industry. With Red Bull’s support, the surfing youth of our country have a very real chance of becoming Olympians one day. I believe that Red Bull Ride My Wave is not just a competition but an incredible learning experience as well.”
Contest Director for Red Bull Ride My Wave Sandika Thushara aka Mambo echoed the Minister’s sentiments about the sport’s potential in the local context, adding: “I have been with Red Bull Ride My Wave from the very beginning. This is a great event for young and upcoming surfers to show their talent. The event obviously has international standards and we are glad to be part of this. Surfing is a lifestyle and a serious sport. We need to build & broaden the local community around the sport.”
Red Bull intends to broaden the horizons of surfing as well as other sports empowering local youth and promoting the spirit of sportsmanship among them. The organizers hope “Ride My Wave” will be a springboard for local surfers to find a platform locally & globally as well as to dispel misconceptions about the lifestyle through official recognition. The event is open to the general public and will feature local as well as foreign surfers from all over the world.