Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Annual Point Michaud Gets Top Score As A Tourism Experience

 Kayak Cape Breton's Eberhart Witt competes in the Surf Competition at the Classic
 9th. Annual Point Michaud Surf Classic-2012

  Surfers enjoy the competition




Michelle Richards checks list of competitors for the next event

If I had to pick one of the summer events that was a hit of the season with our visitor, it would be the 9th Annual Point Michaud Surf Classic which took place on August 25th, bringing approximately 1500 visitors to the Point Michaud Beach. The hidden treasure of Richmond County is not quite as hidden as it once was, having 75 surfers of all ages from the youth division to competitors of the mature age of 75 coming in to take part from all over Canada and the United States. The weather was beautiful and the waves warm although not as high as they could have been, gave a day of fun and excitement for the surfers. After nine years of organizing the Classic, Michelle Richards and her team had the event running like clockwork. To add to the fun Ben’s Love Summer Tour was on hand at the beach,  passing out coupons and items for the kids. I made it down to the beach to take some pictures of the activities and to visit with some of the beach goers and see how the event was progressing. I was thrilled to meet so many people from Quebec , Ontario, New Brunswick as well as from across the US and Nova Scotia.  While checking on the activities,  I took the opportunity to stop and ask how our visitors liked the Surf Classic.  They told me it was great, many of them had made the trip up just for the Classic. Others who were completely unaware that the event was taking place were overjoyed to be able to observe the festivities. Others said they were just totally blown away by the beauty of the beach, stating that Point Michaud was by far one of the nicest beaches they had seen in Nova Scotia and that they were unaware that surfing even took place on Cape Breton and that this area should be more widely advertised.

Michelle Richard who started the surf Classic 9 years ago, as a reward and celebration for all those who took part in the surf program from the Richmond County Recreation, has worked tirelessly to create an event that stands out as a now major tourism draw for the county.  Credit also has to be given Michelle and her team of surf instructors, who work for the Municipality, for the tremendous job they do with the Recreation Departments Surf Program which takes place each summer. The summer program has grown each year and this year had three new divisions of classes added to the program. The Kids Surf Club program was so successful Michelle had to turn kids away from the group instructions and add extra individual lessons to cover the added interest. Students came in from all over, not just locals but kids from around the island as well as out of province surfers to take part in the sport of surfing,  which offers such a great source of exercise as well as a fun activity during the summer.  It was definitely a very successful year for surfing.

 As far as the planning for such as event, it is not just a matter of turning up and surfing for this event, there is a lot of [preparation involved.  Michelle organized the pre Party celebration on Friday night with music by the group Odd Bit around the campfire as well as a surf movie to add to the enjoyment of those present at Battery Provincial Park.  Park officials told Michelle that this was one of the largest turn outs the Park has had in many years. Park officials also informed Michelle that they had to bring in extra staff just to deal with the large numbers of surfers and people coming in to watch the event who were staying at the park. Congratulations, also has to go to the Park staff who always goes above and beyond with the help they offer guests.  Michelle also organized the awards ceremony and dinner held at the MacBouch Restaurant & Lounge, with entertainment by members of the group My Dog Sam keeping the festivities rolling. For the enjoyment of all those in the area a dance was held at MacBouch following the awards presentation with music by the band My Dog Sam. On Sunday Point Michaud Beach was packed with people again enjoying the surf as well as other beach activities to round out the weekend. While talking to some of the surfers who travelled in from Lawrencetown for the event, they  shared with me how impressed by the turn out of spectators who came to  watch the surfing and also by the support shown by the community, County and the tourism industry for the event.   

Congratulation to Michelle for another successful year of surfing and a special thank you to all the corporate, Municipal and local sponsors for their support in helping make this event a success.

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