Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Birth of a Surfing Nation - Inaugural meeting of the Surfing Federation

Peter Rob-O talks about the pioneer surfers of Sri Lanka.

Kite Jam Fun Event : Sri Lanka's First

Its a first in Sri Lanka - Kite Jam 2010. Its a fun event powered by Faith Kiteboarding.

June 26th 2010
10 AM  - 5 PM
Kappalady Lagoon, Kalpitiya Road, Sri Lanka

For further details feel free to e mail Kitesurf Sri Lanka.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Blossomed and Withered - The Reality of Tourism going out of Hand in Sri Lanka

The end of the 30 year conflict in Sri Lanka brought about new hopes to a land known for its beauty. I never saw the true beauty of my country due the war and now, finally, all doors are open and our country is open to all to cherish the beauty that this land has to offer.
I started my snorkel session in Trincomalee, headed to Batticoloa and then Kalpitiya. I was saddened. The beauty that brought about so much joy and warmth to my heart has been its downfall. Thousands of tourist itching to get a piece of our lands beauty has given way to a rat race that now engulfs and now overwhelms the fragile eco systems.
Believe it or not, the war actually protected these eco systems from destruction. Nowadays we see boat loads of people venturing to Pigeon Island who not only view the ‘Marine Sanctuary’ but also litter the small island paradise with plastic and garbage. This plastic makes it way out into the sea causing death and suffering to many innocent victims. Worse still, they start to take souvenirs – a piece of Coral – Live Coral, home to adorn their homes. Even though they look like plants or rock, Live corals are living and breathing animals like you and I.
The boats – unregulated will just killed the coral reef. Very soon the coral will die, the marine life whither away and all that would be left would be a barren reef.
Unregulated boats are not a thing of the east – it’s been happening for years in places like Hikkaduwa. I had always been cautioned by my father – ‘be careful of the glass bottom boats’, not because they pollute but because they are killers in the ocean! You can just snorkel in Hikkaduwa, you have to keep an eye on the irresponsible boatman who whiz past. Just last week, another (and I repeat another) tourist was run over by a glass bottom boat. Regulation? It’s non existent in what we call a ‘Marine Sanctuary’.
North and South of Hikkaduwa – to Mirrissa and Kalpitiya – we see unregulated boat services chasing after Dolphins and Whales. Very soon, these majestic creatures would venture off or worse still perish at the hands of short sighted and uneducated ‘tour operators’ of the areas.
As much as Sri Lanka is known for its National Parks, be it Yala or Udawalawe, Diving can also be developed to attract a considerable amount of tourists. Sadly the sport has not been given much recognition or support. Most dive sites are been lost due to short sighted financial gains. A good example is the ‘Earl of Shaftesbury’ off the coast in Batticoloa – a 700 foot ship off the coast of Mullativu – which has given government approval to be salvaged.
Such sunken treasures are a wonderful heaven to colourful creatures that take refuge in it's wake. Once a disaster to a crew of many people on board the ship with time turns into a miracle of nature. The surrounding corals and fish engulf the ship and take seige of this mystery to themselves and yes it is their home.
As of now a shipwreck home to many creatures a possible huge money making venture to the tourist industry is being salvage in Pulmudai.
There are some wrecks that are special to Sri Lanka which result in tourists arriving from all parts of the world just to dive and discover their hidden beauties. So, why waste away such a valuable natural resource that our country should treasure and hold.
Letting the ship wrecks remain as it is could attract recreational divers from all parts of the world. Arthur C Clarke talks about Trincomalee and Galle where many ship wrecks exist. Ship wrecks also act as a kind of coral reef which in the subsequent years attracts shoals of marine life which only increases the value and diversity of the oceans.
We have the capacity to become a huge money making diving destination. The wonders and mystery that lies beneath our oceans match that of countries like thailand who take advantage of the treasures of the underwater world by conserving it. This is a vast source of money for our tourist industry. Truly it is a treasure that lies beneath, colourful wonders far beyond our wildest expectations.
We cannot think short term. We cannot let industries be unregulated. It is time for the Environmental and Tourism Minister to work together to come about common legislator to manage our country’s fragile eco systems. Perhaps we should take our whole cabinet on a diving excursion like the government of Maldives to instill values of Environmental Consciences and Respect.
Sri Lanka, Blossom? That’s a sure thing, Withered? That’s our choice. Let’s start today. Make a difference, make a change. Let’s protect Sri Lanka’s natural wonders.
Dilsiri Welikala
April 2010

In the Pictures - Majestic Sunrise on the East Coast - Arugam Bay

Monday, June 21, 2010

Remembering the pioneer Surfers of Sri Lanka

The Surfing Federation of Sri Lanka just got off the ground with a gathering of surfers from all over Sri Lanka during the ASP Pro Surf Event. It was a very inspiring meeting initiated by Peter Rob-O and Tim Tantom. The following day - International Surfers Day, we gathered at Mambo's, Main Point, Arugam Bay and had a ceremony to pay respect to the pioneers of Surfing in Sri Lanka.

North Kiteboarder Fabio in Action - Kitesurf Sri Lanka

Sry Lanka kitesurfing with kitetravel4all and srylankakiteschool from Fabio Ingrosso on Vimeo.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

WARNING - Kitesurfers might steal the show at the ASP Surf Pro Event!

While the surfers pray for ideal conditions, the kiters pray for WIND. Ok, lets come to compromise...wind in the afternoons at least in Arugam Bay. Pretty excited to witness a star studded event in Arugam Bay this weekend. Its epic and great for Sri Lanka. Hope it might not bring too much publicity or else we might have to share the waves with every Tom, Dick and Harry! Life....
In other news, be prepared for a Fun Kiting Event powered by Faith Kiteboarding to be held on the 26th of June in Kalpitiya.
Got to pack the bags now, see you guys in heaven - AKA Arugam Bay!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Kitesurf Weekend with Fabio Ingrosso - What a legend!

It was an epic weekend, great swells, great wind and boy did we have some great company! Fabio - Pro Kiter & 3 X World KiteSki Champion marvelled all of us with his kickass moves! Looking forward to another session with the greats of Kiteboarding. Hopefully we'll be doing 360 and handle passes coupled with loops.....

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Another Vesak Weekend - Kitesurfing, Making Friends in Arugam Bay

The gamble paid off, but was there a gamble afterall, the winds are a sure thing during Vesak. Beautiful conditions for Kitesurfing; sideshore wind, waves, scenery and nice blue skies. The sessions were epic. Was more fun with fellow kitesurferTom Ring in the scene all the way from England (or Dubai was it where there's a bit more wind). Tom's still there and we are sure to do a couple more sessions soon. Enjoy the remainder of Arugam Bay Tom, envy envy!