The Vanuatu Surfing Association will be holding its very first Surf festival from 13 -17 April 2017 during the long Easter weekend with over 90 athletes from local surf clubs, New Caledonia and Australia competing for over Vt450,000 in cash prize money.

The festival known as the “Leimalo Surf Festival” is so named after the pango female deity who is called upon by surfers to send good waves through an old kastom song often chanted by children waiting for waves off pango’s beautiful shoreline.

The VSA’s platinum sponsor Law Partners and gold sponsor Pacific Advisory have teamed up to proudly sponsor the event along with cash prize sponsors Au Bon Marche who are sponsoring the Super Groms (U14) cash Prize, Law Partners sponsoring the Pro — Juniors (U18) cash Prize, Lattitude Property for the Women’s Open cash Prize, iCount for the Men’s Open cash Prize and Billabong for the women’s long board prize and Rip Curl for the Men’s Long board. Azure Pure Water have also joined the event as the official water sponsors hydrating to over 120 athletes and officials. Pango Wave, a local ni-vanuatu business is the official event merchandise supplier and the VSA has very fortunately received support from ProMed who will be providing medical support during the contest. A team of local DJs led by Tuff Tumas and Shem Yeah will be providing live DJ’ing at the contest site over the 4 days.

An intense 4 day competition with forecasted optimal swell thanks to Cyclone Cook will have the three Pango breaks, Fatfar, Narawa and Breakas firing on all pistons providing amazing waves for international surfing level competition.

The event has extended beyond the realm of competitive surfing with VSA and Fondation Suzanne Bastien collaborating to kick off the month long Leimalo Art Exhibition commencing on the Surf Festival opening night with artwork oriented around the sea and surf by talented artists, most of whom are surfers.

The VSA has also joined forces with Wan Smol Bag and Vanuatu Society for Disabled People to host the Surfability program on Easter Monday introducing people with disabilities to the joy and fun of surfing.

Head down to Pango for some easter fun cheering on our local teams competing on home waves.

Raymond Nasse

Sports Editor

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