CHENNAI: The 7th edition of the Covelong Point Surf, music and yoga festival will get underway at Kovalam near here on Friday and will feature international surfers battling it out for honours.
"The festival primarily aims to promote the sport of surfing and stand up paddle in India, spread the message of importance of good health and wellness..," Arun Vasu, promoter of Covelong Point Surf, Music and Yoga Festival, said at a press meet here on Thursday.
It is also to provide a platform for India's artists to showcase their works, promote cultural tourism and facilitate social change for the better, he added.
Former South African cricketer Jonty Rhodes, who is the festival's brand ambassador, said he was happy surfing was growing in India and hoped that with it being included in the Olympics there would be greater interest.
"India with its thousands of kilometres of shoreline and beaches is a natural haven for pursuing surfing as a sport.
It is only a matter of time before we see surfing champions emerge from this country. The fact that surfing has emerged as one of the disciplines for the next Olympics augurs well for this sport and will soon gain larger acceptance across the world," he said.
A total of 200 of the country's best surfers will compete in the National surfing challenge at this event.Also, it features the RAST (REnextop Asian Surfing Tour).
Top surfers from all over Asia are scheduled to take part in this year's challenge, the organisers said.
Among local surfers, Murthy Megavan and Mukesh will be participating apart from several talented youngsters.
Those taking part in the event include 2018 champions, Karnataka's 19-year-old Ramesh Budihal (juniors), and Puducherry's Percival Fayon (open.
In the women's event, defending champion,Sinchana Gowda (Karnataka) will be the cynosure of all eyes.
There would be events in under-16 years, 16-28 years and men 29 years-plus and for women.
Puducherry Lt Governor Kiran Bedi would preside over the valedictory on Sunday.