LEIMAOLO-VANUATUThe Vanuatu Surfing Association (VSA) has kicked off its second annual Leimalo Surf Festival at Pango village, which runs over the Easter break.

The Surf Festival is the country’s largest international surfing competition with contestants from Australia, Samoa, New Caledonia, Japan and Fiji competing for prize money against Vanuatu’s local surfers from Pango, Pele, Eratap, Nguna, Tanna and Efalias.

The festival, like the VSA’s M.O, utilizes the sport as a conduit to spread important social messages through ancillary events and activities ongoing during the festival.

It encompasses five days of intense competition, an ongoing art exhibition at foundation Suzanne Bastien displaying artistry inspired by surfing and ocean environments, coral planting workshop to preserve Vanuatu’s marine eco-system, coastal cleanup and recycling station to raise awareness of plastic pollution, responsible plastic waste disposal and recycling practices as well as the Surfability event.

“Arguably, the highlight of the Surf Festival is surfability, VSA President Stephanie Mahuk comments.

“The VSA, since inception of the Leimalo Surf Festival in 2017 has invited the Vanuatu Society for People with a Disability to share a wave with our surfers and experience the magic of surfing.

“The experience is moving and very rewarding for everyone involved, especially when you see the sheer joy that lights up the faces of our friends with a disability as they ride a wave!

“We are grateful for the opportunity to be able to work with the Vanuatu Society for People with a Disability who are supported for this event by the Vanuatu Aquatics Federation, Disability Desk of the Ministry of Justice and Community Services and Save the Children.”

The event is made possible through the sponsorship and supporters of the Vanuatu Surfing Association and Leimalo Surf Festival from Law Partners, Pacific Advisory, Azure Pure Water, Dynamic Supply Co., Au Bon Marche, iCount, Loic and Justine Dinh, Breakas Beach Resort, Capitol FM107, Air Vanuatu, Digicel and the Pango village community.