Catch the drift: All you need to know about Chennai’s Covelong Point Surf Yoga Music Festival 2019
As the ECR coastline gears up for the seventh edition of the Covelong Point Surf Yoga Music Festival, we dive in to find out what’s new this year and how it is a bigger, better spectacle than ever
Being Asia’s biggest surf and yoga festival — with 20,000 footfalls expected this year — the Covelong Point Surf Yoga Music festival 2019 has also stood out for its inclusivity and the philanthropy at the heart of the initiative. Arun Vasu, co-founder of the festival and Chairman and Managing Director of TT Group, avers that the magic here is how the event is a melting pot of culture, communities and nationalities, and how it has changed the lives of the neighbouring villages. “We hope to open more surfing schools and engage more of the fisherfolk, including women and girls,” says Arun, adding that his favourite event this time is the 17 to 28-years-old category (previously it was two separate categories), which promises to churn out some remarkable talent and thrilling competition.
Expecting about 200 participants, this year the Asian Surfing Co. is participating and the competitions have been designed as per international standards. “Now all we need is to catch some good waves!” says Arun, adding with excitement, that the Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry, Kiran Bedi, is their Chief Guest this year. Expect other regulars like former cricketer Jonty Rhodes who will be seen catching the waves as well. Meanwhile, Murthy Megavan, co-founder Covelong Point Surfing School, tells us how they have included a fun Stand Up Paddling (SUP) rally which starts from Sheraton Grand Chennai Resort & Spa and ends at Covelong Point. It will also include a plastic clean-up awareness drive and is a great event for those who are just figuring out SUP. Murthy tells us that, as always, the catamaran race by the fishermen will be held on Sunday evening (August 25) — so get your picnic mats, sunblock and hats, and settle down for the show by 2.30 pm.
With more than 30 facilitators in the fray and more than 50 sessions scheduled — the yoga segment has definitely gone OTT this year and we couldn’t be happier once we see the eclectic line up. From Vera Kubarchuk, a singer, dancer and sound therapist from Auroville, who will be conducting sound healing to Mahesh Vinayakram, son of the famous Grammy Award winner Padmabhishan THVikku Vinayakram who is launching his new album besides conducting sessions on chanting yoga mantras and asanas — the yogashalas are bustling with energy. Don’t miss Nia Dance by Dina Lebinger from Israel — it is a holistic movement that blends elements from martial arts, dance and also incorporates healing techniques. Also, expect sessions by Sandra Schultze, Yotam Agam and Mahesh Vinayakram.
On August 23, from 5 pm to 6.15 pm (Nia yoga), Saturday (August 24) from 6 am to 5.15 pm and Sunday (August 25) from 7 am to 5.30 pm.
OFF THE PLATES:
With the vibrant carnival mood in place, everyone is looking for the food stalls. This year, they have about 35 food stalls that include favourites from last year like the pork burgers, food trucks and bike grills. Our attention is on first-timers like Doner and Gyros for their kebabs and middle-eastern goodness. From Pondicherry, we have the Xoxopops with their menu of popsicles. “The idea behind starting Xoxopops is simple, all we wanted is to serve people and especially kids with all-natural ice treats where they can enjoy the wholeness, freshness, complete nutrition and taste of the actual fruit,” says the owner Soorya Kumar, who started this venture with Arjun Vishwanath, and assures us that there are no artificial ingredient, artificial colours and syrups, or chemicals in the ice lollies. So, the strawberry popsicle contains an actual strawberry in it!
“Brewhouse Ice Tea is India’s first organic real brewed bottled ice tea which means real tea leaves are used to make them. It is a perfect healthier alternative to any other beverage as it has no preservatives, low in sugar and low on calorie," says Depinder Bedi who is bringing Brewhouse Ice Tea from Singapore to the festival for the first time. Expect regular flavours like lemon, peach and also exotic ones like forest berry and berry jamun. The villagers will also have their stalls as usual, with their local food on offer. We were thrilled to find out that the dishes are named after the person making them. So don't miss the Rekha Fish fry, Kayarnisha Fish Fry and Sikandar Bai Biryani!
Stop and shop
While the NGO The Banyan will be there with their indigenous woven baskets. Also in the charts are some new merchandise from Surf Turf, besides Purple Pyramid is participating with crystals on offer. With more than a dozen stalls for retail therapy, the villages are also participating, offering local handicrafts among others.
If jumping into the sea is not your thing then sign up for Wild Warrior’s 100-metre course of 10 crazy obstacles that should definitely get your adrenaline pumping. Qualification round is on August 24 and finals on August 25. Registration at `500.
The festival is at the Covelong Point Surfing School, Kovalam, ECR, from August 23 to 25. Entry free.
Registration for the surfing and paddleboarding events, at Rs. 500, (BYOB - Bring Your Own Board!).
The surfing events begin on August 22.
For more details visit covelongpoint.com