Page last updated at 15:41 GMT, Friday, 5 September 2008 16:41 UK

Headstand surfer is making waves

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Surf's upside down for Dulip

A survivor of the 2004 Asian tsunami has become a Dorset tourist attraction by surfing while standing on his head.

Dulip Kokuhannadige has wowed crowds on Bournemouth beach by performing a headstand while riding the waves.

The 22-year-old from Sri Lanka came to England after falling in love and marrying a British aid worker.

But now the relationship has ended he says he hopes to stay in the town for the opening of Europe's first artificial surf reef later this year.

"It looks scary and dangerous," he said.

"But I'm glad I managed it, especially as its rough today.

"Back home I was teaching surfing and trying flips.

Dulip Kokuhannadige
Mr Kokuhannadige says he hopes to stay in Bournemouth for the new surf reef

"I knew I could do a headstand on the ground so I thought I'd try it on my surf board.

"I kept trying and now I can do it for 15 to 30 seconds on a good day."

Mr Kokuhannadige said his family lost everything in the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami, which claimed more than a quarter of a million lives.

Although threatened with deportation, Mr Kokuhannadige hopes he is able to stay to try his headstand while riding the town's new artificial surf reef.

"When I do the headstand I get a big crowd watching me," he said.

"It's not too hard and I'm happy to teach people.

"I'm pretty sad if I have to leave before the reef is finished - I'm looking forward to it.

"Things might change, I'll keep my fingers crossed."

And if he is able to stay - he said he hopes to turn the headstand into a handstand as his next trick.




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