In the run up to the annual Covelong Classic: Surf, Music and Fitness Festival, we put together a quick guide to help you catch a bit of everything

In the run up to the annual Covelong Classic: Surf, Music and Fitness Festival, we put together a quick guide to help you catch a bit of everything

There is much happening along the ECR in Chennai this month. As the Chess Olympiad frenzy continues unabated, the seaside fishing town of Kovalam quietly decks up with surfing, music, fitness and food in mind as the popular Covelong Classic returns this weekend. The excitement has been palpable ever since the festival, with a loyal following since its inception in 2013 announced its line-up. It’s a delightful mix: as surfers from Sri Lanka and Maldives spar with local champions, indie music acts, alternate fitness workshops, obstacle courses and food stalls will set a festive backdrop by the curvaceous coastline that Kovalam is known for.  

Illustration: Joseph Satheesh

Illustration: Joseph Satheesh

Thankfully, the weather forecast has been favourable so far, says Arun Vasu, president of Surfing Federation of India, managing partner — Surf Turf, and managing director of TT Group. “This year the difference is that we are running two back-to-back events for surfing. We wanted different conditions, to try and push the level of the surfers up a bit.” And so, over the last two days, the Mahabs Point Break Challenge was afoot, which saw a participation of over 100 surfers. “We had the usual line-up of Open (17 and above), Groms (16 and below) for both men and women. In Kovalam, including these two events, we will do a competition for 12 years and under, to encourage kids.” The Stand Up Paddle, for men and women, will see a six-kilometre race, and a technical race, which Arun says, is like a course. 

What are we excited about?

Music

August 6: Focus Group Radio, Bigsam, Driftwood, Ta Dhom Project

August 7: The Coconut Milk Project, East Coast Movement, Many Roots Ensemble, Drummers of Covelong

Food

Beachville Cafe, Ricky’s Cookies, Karam Karaikudi Mess, Finale The Dessert Bar, Mexe

Fitness

Silambam by Santhosh, Parkour by Parkour Pod, Pole Tricks by Pole Camp, Animal Flow by SimpleSTRONG

Apart from this, an International Open will see surfers from across the world. In the Open category, some names to look out for are  Karnataka’s Ramesh Budhial, Goa’s Sugar Benarse, Tamil Nadu’s Ajeesh Ali, and Sathish Sarvanan (both from Kovalam). Previous national champions like Appu, Santhosh and Shekhar Pachai from Kovalam, will put up a good fight to the current crop, says Arun.

While the competitions by themselves will make for a good weekend watch running from 7 am onwards on all three days, two stages are being set up for the indie music acts that will be active through August 6 and 7. While the smaller stage called the Surf Turf stage located behind the Surf Turf building, will host performances from 11 am to 4.30 pm, the main stage called the Beach stage will open from 5 pm.

Around 15 stalls will be helmed by the local community

Around 15 stalls will be helmed by the local community
| Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Music acts aside, fitness, dance and yoga workshops will run through Saturday and Sunday. “In the eight years we ran it, we combined surfing, music and yoga. But we feel the approach towards fitness has changed so much, with so many fitness programmes that have recently come up. The idea is to mix it up,” says Arun. This time, silambam, parkour, animal flow, gymnastics and dance fitness apart from yoga, will be on offer.

This year, alternate fitness workshops are on offer

This year, alternate fitness workshops are on offer
| Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

As far as stalls go, 15 of them on the beach are run by the local community, serving up food and local handicrafts. Apart from this,  stalls by popular Chennai restaurants and cloud kitchens, and a flea market featuring art, merchandise and swimwear will light up the space. “The Kovalam Panchayat has been of great support,” says Arun, adding, “This is the first time that SDAT (Sports Development Authority of Tamil Nadu) has come in as a sponsor in a big way. And, we are trying to bring in the World Surf League next year,” concludes Arun.      

Entry to the festival which is from August 5 to 7 at Surf Turf, Kovalam is free. Details @surfturfindia on Instagram. 

There will be two stages for indie music acts

There will be two stages for indie music acts
| Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT



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