Tuesday, January 12, 2010

First Annual Surf Liberia Contest (November 2009)

The competitors and judges of the First Annual Surf Liberia Contest pose along with a representative of Liberia's Ministry of Youth and Sports. (All photos courtesy of Myles Estey.)

In late November of 2009 Robertsport Community Works was delighted to host the first surf contest in Liberian history. Seven young men from Liberia and five expatriates participated in the men's division, which consisted of four preliminary three man heats, two head-to-head semi-final heats and a two man final. Though good waves can be scarce in late November, we were fortunate enough to have consistent shoulder to head high waves, peeling for a clean 100 meters throughout the contest.

(Peter Swen floats his way to a fourth place finish. You can read about his experiences on his blog The Liberian Surfer.)

A correspondent from Reuters captured footage from the contest for an upcoming television spot. Local community members were glad for the opportunity to explain their views of surfing, tourism and development.

(Nana's Lodge helped to pay these young men to keep the beaches clean during the weekend-long sporting festival. Events like this can often leave beaches in total disarray.)

(Contestants and local spectators in the foreground, judges and cameraman in the background.)

(Benjamin McCrumada cuts back on his way to a third place finish. He was eliminated in the semi-finals by close friend, Alfred Lomax.)

(Here, Alfred Lomax makes the most of a medium sized set, on his way to winning the event.)

We are grateful to Liberian Travel and Life Magazine who generously donated $350 so that top placing competitors could walk away with some cash. Here's Alfred Lomax celebrating his first place $200 finish with runner-up, Keith Chapman--Director of the Trinity Dental Clinic.

Keith Chapman also finished first place in the body boarding division--a four man event that ran just prior to the finals of the men's division. We look forward to additional competitors and more excellent waves when we organize our second contest in the first half of this year.

A final thanks to the surfers from BHP Liberia, who donated several rash guards for top placing competitors. And thanks to all of the people who helped with the banners, the transport, the judging and with keeping the atmosphere so congenial. It was a great time.


  1. Hello!
    I just watched the movie "Sliding Liberia" and it was great. I have followed Liberia's developements for several years now and I am really excited to see such a positive program going on in Robertsport. With hundreds of miles of shoreline Liberia has unlimited tourism and recreation potential, I'm so glad to see it being used. I'm not a surfer but I live in Southern California (San diego) so I have been well exposed to the sport and the culture. I think it's great that surfing is catching on there as a means of developing the community and the economy.

  2. Thanks for your comment, Saleem, and for your support of Liberian surfing! Liberian surfing was just covered in the NYT Travel Section and soon on the Fuel TV show 'On Surfari', so looks like the coastline is getting lots of attention.