MAHABALIPURAM BEACH, Tamil Nadu, India (Tuesday, August 15, 2023) – Competition has kicked off at the inaugural Tamil Nadu International Surf Open World Surf League (WSL) Qualifying Series (QS) 3,000 event with the completion of the men’s and women’s Opening Rounds. It was a historical day of competition with competitors from India, Sri Lanka, The Maldives and Australia doing battle in tricky conditions as Mahabalipuram Beach offered up clean two-foot waves for the first-ever day of WSL competition on Indian Shores.

The second heat of the day saw Sanjay Selvamani (IND) make history as the first-ever Indian to claim a heat win in a World Surf League event. Hailing from nearby Kovalam, Selvamani has had plenty of experience surfing at Mahabalipuram and it showed as he picked off a number of long right-hand runners to take the heat win in only his second QS event appearance.

“We have been so excited for this event to come to India so it’s great to finally have it all underway,” Selvamani said. “We know the waves here can get so much better than they are today so we’re hoping it continues to improve throughout the window. I have been surfing for 9 years now and having this event here shows all the Indian surfers that there are opportunities to travel to other surf spots in this region to compete and continue to improve. This is such an exciting time for Indian surfers.”

Other standout performers on the opening day of the competition included Sri Lankan competitor Lakshitha Madushan (LKA) who posted the highest two-wave total of the day as well as Maldivian competitor Yousuf Zaki (MDV) and Saijaikumar S (IND) who also took convincing heat wins in the Round of 56.

The women’s Opening Round saw Australia’s Tru Starling (AUS) open up on a nice right-hander at the start of the heat and earn the highest single wave score of the round, a 6.25 (out of a possible 10). She went on to add another good score and post the highest two-wave total of the event so far with an 11.50 (out of a possible 20).

“I feel really happy to take the heat win, but I feel even more privileged just to be here, it’s really amazing,” Starling said. “To be able to surf in India is a pretty surreal experience. The girls were so impressive, there were those moments when I was thinking, I really have to lift my level a bit. It was amazing to be able to surf with these local girls, as it helped to figure out where to sit, and wow, their competitive fire was really great to see.”

Other standouts were India’s National Junior Champion Kamali P (IND) who advanced with a second-place finish in her heat, and National Women’s Champion Sugar Shanti Banarse (IND) who also earned a second-place finish behind Jessie Starling (AUS) in Heat 2. Both will be competing in Round 2 against a strong field of the Asian region’s best female competitors.

Event organisers will reconvene tomorrow to make a call at 6:30 a.m. local time for a possible 7:00 a.m. start.

The inaugural Tamil Nadu International Surf Open will run from August 14 – 20, 2023. For more information or to watch the event LIVE head to or download the Free WSL App.