After a one-year layoff, competitive surfing once again returns to the Solomon Islands from 11-13 January when the Western Solomon Surfing Association (WSSA) stages a two-day event at Paelonge near Gizo in the country’s Western Province.
The event, cancelled in 2021 due to COVID-related concerns, has attracted big sponsors this year with Tourism Solomons, Solomon Airlines, Solbrew and Oravae Cottages joining long-time sponsor Papatura Island Retreat in offering a range of prizes including domestic airfares and accommodation at the Santa Isabel resort.
As in previous years, the competition will be split into two categories – senior and junior – with 2020 winner Shemiah Baea expected to lead the charge on the famous right hander.
WSSA president, Jeremy Baea said while the event presented an opportunity to highlight just what the Solomon Islands has to offer from the perspective of international surf tourism, fundamentally the event was started to promote the sport of surfing to young people in the Western province.
“A big part of our aim is to teach youths to respect our environment and provide climate change awareness,” he said.
“We hope that engaging youths in surfing will create an opportunity for them to stay away from potential illegal, anti-social and harmful habits.
“Surfing also involves our youth in surf tourism where they act as ambassadors, interacting with overseas visitors and promoting the western province as a tourist destination. “
With 25 local surfers already confirmed for the event, registrations are still open.
For further information, contact Jeremy Baea, telephone (+677) 7690026 or via email at [email protected].
Distributed behalf of Tourism Solomons by Mike Parker-Brown