The pristine beaches and the wild waves of the east coast of Sri Lanka will once again be the chosen venue for the SriLankan Airlines Champion of Champions BPSA Surf Competition. This will be the second year Sri Lankan Airlines is co-sponsoring the event with BPSA (British Pro-Surf Association) and TTAL (Travel and Tours Anywhere Limited). The event which is scheduled to be held from 27th to 30th June will be attended by over 50 professional surfers from United kingdom and Sri Lanka, together with a number of Australian surfers.
The surfing paradise of Arugam Bay was the obvious venue for the Championship as waves here reach a height of fifteen feet or more, receiving the same swells that hit other world renown surfing locations during the mid year. It is also legendary for its right-handers, a surfing term which means that the waves are favorable to right handed surfers, who makes up the majority of the surfing community.
There are three popular point breaks within 20 minutes from each other, one reef breaks anything from 2-6 feet providing a wall that barrels to give a surfer his ultimate adrenaline rush, an almost 400 meter ride. The other two breaks also provide high quality surf. With sea temperature that lasts at 27 degrees Celsius through out the year, Arugam Bay is an ideal surfing location.
As the title sponsor the airline provides air tickets and prize money. The official tour operator is TTAL’s local agent Crystal Holidays. TTAL offers surfing destinations such as Maldives, Bali, Costa Rica, Durban, Barbados and many others throughout the world. Technical support is given by Lanka Sportsreizen, the leading agent for adventure sports in the country.
As the national carrier of Sri Lanka, SriLankan Airlines is at the forefront of promoting sports tourism into Sri Lanka. The 2005 surfing event will be the part of an on going program to incorporate Sri Lanka as part of the British Professional Surfing circuit, while boosting the country’s tourist industry and promoting the airline as a world class passenger carrier.
The airline also sponsors the National Championship of the Japanese Pro Surfers Association which is held in Hikkaduwa on the west coast of the country where over one hundred Japanese surfers will participate for the 5th year this November.
SriLankan hosts two golf tournaments during year. The first, Governor’s Cup was held in April at the Victoria Golf Club in Digana, Kandy. The Cargo Golf organized by SriLankan Cargo was held in early May this year. SriLankan believes golf will bring in high-yielding tourists into the country and has great potential in promoting niche tourism to an up-scale clientele.
Sri Lankan Airlines in conjunction with Singer Sri Lanka also sponsors the Singer SriLankan Rugby Sevens tournament at the Kandy Bogambara stadium in September.
The natural landscape of Sri Lanka is favorable to many adventure sports such as canoeing, para-gliding, mountain biking, climbing and hiking. Diving in the Indian Ocean around the island is now emerging as yet another niche tourist market. Together with traditional tourist attractions of beaches, culture and heritage, these attractions will be a strong pull for travelers seeking action-packed, exotic tropical holidays.