Arugam Bay was firing for the final day of the UKPSA Sri Lankan Surf Championships.An increase in swell overnight provided 4-6ft barrelling right hander’s for the remaining competitors.
In heat one of the quarter finals Micah Lester took full advantage of the conditions scoring the highest wave of the event (9.4) earning him the return ticket from London to Sri Lanka donated by Sri Lankan Airlines.
The remaining quarter final heats saw outstanding performances from Richie Sills (South Africa) and Newquay surfers Alan Stokes, Mitch Corbett and Tom Butler.
In the first semi final Richie Sills and Sam Lamroy (Newcastle) surfed consistently to edge out Lee Bartlet and Micah Lester.
Four Newquay surfers made up semi final two. Alan Stokes dominated from the beginning with two high scoring rides. Mark Harris scraped ahead of Mitch Corbett to take second with Tom Butler fourth.
The final got underway in front of a packed crowd including the President of Sri Lanka’s son and the Minister for tourism.
In a tactical heat the four surfers struggled to find waves in the early stages.
Richie Sills found his rhythm and picked off two high scoring rides leaving the other three scratching to catch up. Alan Stokes was close behind in second and a final wave with two huge turns left the crowd guessing if he had done enough.
In the end Richie and Alan were tied for first place. A count back (best one wave scored) saw Richie take the title with Alan Stokes following in second, Mark Harris third and Sam Lamroy fourth.
Richie Sills: “I love Arugam Bay. The waves have been incredible and the local people have been so hospitable. The event would have been nothing without them. Thank you to everyone who has worked so hard to make this competition possible”
The Sri Lankan local’s final was also completed today. Local Arugam Bay surfer W.l Asanka led the final from the start with some impressive surfing including a 9 point ride which earned him the title.
Event organisers would like to thank SriLanka Airlines, Sri Lanka Tourism and Crystal Holidays for making the event such a great success.
Photo: Richie Sills. Photo (c) Vicky Walker