Morotai’s First Ever Surfing Competition
A Liquid Future in partnership with the Morotai Surfing Community were able to hold the FIRST EVER surfing competition in Morotai in March with the support of the Morotai government and following Indonesian COVID-19 protocols for events. That there was widespread support for the competition across primary stakeholders is testament to the popularity and allure of surfing and the place it holds in the psyche of local people. This enthusiasm and interest readily enables surfing to be used as an activities-based vehicle to catalyse and bring solutions to our planet’s most pressing issues including biodiversity loss and climate change.
Together locals, the government and the private sector took part in and witnessed for the first time the use of a beach, a wave and a reef as an arena for a social, economic, cultural and conservation activity. Rooted in their history with a view to the future the event united diverse demographic groups across competitors and spectators, bringing them together under a banner of passion, empowerment, pride and possibility.
A total of 68 local surfers took part in four categories; Open, Under 16, Girls and Traditional Board.
All competitors were thrilled at the opportunity to compete, meet fellow surfers from other districts and come together as “Morotai Surfers” establishing a camaraderie amongst one another and a shared identity. They learnt more about how to compete and a competition format, demonstrated their skills and passion to spectators, showed what surfing means to them, their dedication and their desire to protect their surf breaks.
Elements of sustainability and conservation were woven into the event. The majority of the awards were made from wood. Minimal use of single-use plastics was encouraged.
All spectators were instructed to dispose of rubbish responsibly. A beach clean up by local surfers was conducted at the end of the event to ensure the beach was left clean and pristine and set an example.
The Vice Governor of Morotai and a representative from the Provincial Tourism Department of North Maluku hailed the competition a great success that should be repeated to further the development of surfing as a sport amongst youth and as a tourism event for Morotai under the National Tourism Ministry’s strategy for community tourism development.
The surfing competition enabled greater understanding of surfing and surf tourism as a means to foster healthy lifestyles and sustainable futures across primary stakeholder groups.
Those who ride waves or those who watch them sense the thrill and awe of nature’s power and feel stoked. That feeling is the foundation from which so much is possible.
For more detailed information download our photo presentation of the competition: Download