Kudat: State Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun said Kudat has sports tourism potential, particularly with its white sandy beaches and sea conditions which make it a great place to surf.
“Based on feedback, there are many surfing fans here and sports tourism is something that we can do in Kudat,” he said.
“If possible, we want each district to have a specialisation. I find surfing appropriate for Kudat, taking into account the sea and wave conditions here,” he said during the Music and Surf 2017 Festival at the Kalampunian Beach, here, recently.
The three-day event, which ended on Sunday, saw 60 surfers (41 men, four women and 15 groms – surfers below 16) who came from across the country, Indonesia and Finland.
Jointly organised by Sri Pelancongan Sabah and Sabah Surfing Association, with support from the Ministry and Kudat District Office, the event not only drew visitors to the Tip of Borneo but also boost economic activities for local vendors, some coming from as far as Papar.
The power trip that left the venue in total darkness for several minutes during the Sunset Music Concert, which started at about 4.30pm, did little to dampen the lively scene as music lovers danced under the rain to the beat of local band performances.
“This is the first time we combine music fest and surfing. There’s still room for improvement but the response is encouraging,” Masidi said.
“Perhaps in future, we should start the event earlier. I suggest 2pm, or maybe in the morning, because among challenges for visitors coming here is the distance as well as the road coming here which is not so easy and could cause people to be worried about going home too late,” he added.
He said there is also a need to rethink whether to continue having the two events at the same spot, or perhaps the surfing to be held at the beach while the music fest at its previous spot.
“The difference is that it will be free admission for people to attend, but it also depends on the weather.
“I see we have an encouraging crowd, but the weather not so. Thus, it is important that every year we have to evaluate suitability of theme and ways, I hope if there is a need for change and improvement in future, we will do so.
“This event is in our tourism calendar, but the unpredictable weather makes it a bit difficult to find the appropriate time,” he said.
Meanwhile, the surf competition, held officially for the first time this year, saw surfers from Indonesia bagging the top four spots in the Men’s Open category, with I Made Darmayasa winning first place, followed by Demian Ammar (second), Putu Arya Gunata (third) and Wayan Rian (fourth).
First place went to Tytti Beltran from Finland in the Women Open Category, with Malaysia’s Evita Ceresa, Emalina Aimi and Jessica Ukiu in second, third and fourth placing, respectively.
Malaysians won the top four spots for the Grom Category (below 16), with Ayep Jasni winning first place, followed by Chris Jericho Lisad, Marcheles Alonso Masip and Hakimi Rizal Azman in second, third and fourth placing respectively.
Best Women Title went to Evita Ceresa, while Ken Lisad won the Best Men Title and Chris Jericho Lisad Best Grom Title.
Also present were Sabah Tourism Board (STB) Chairman Datuk Joniston Bangkuai, STB General Manager Gordon Yapp and Sabah Parks Chairman Tengku Datuk Ser Dr Zainal Adlin Tengku Mahamood, among others. – Sherell Jeffrey
Source: Daily Express