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Malmö invites surfer back ‘to see the waves’

Malmö invites surfer back ‘to see the waves’

Published: 02 Jul 2012 08:45 GMT+02:00
Updated: 02 Jul 2012 08:45 GMT+02:00

Tourist officials in southern Sweden have invited a 19-year-old professional surfer back on a free trip to Malmö after he accidentally visited last week due to a Ryanair ticketing foul-up.

The officials from Tourism in Skåne contacted Toby Donachie after reading about his adventure last week, where a ticket mishap saw him in Malmö instead of at a surfing camp in Biarritz, southern France after boarding a Ryainair flight in England.

The pro surfer, from Cornwall in the UK, somehow managed to pass through two security checks with the wrong ticket, realizing he was en route to Sweden as cabin crew announced the plane was flying over Denmark.

Representatives from the tourism company were initially surprised to read about the mishap, but soon found a way to rectify the situation.

“Toby seems like a pretty spontaneous guy, so we thought we’d invite him back here for a chance to see our surfing culture first hand,” Heléne Östberg of Tourism in Skåne told The Local.

“Everything we read about the story mentioned that we don’t have any waves down here, but we do! We have great waves.”

The invitation includes all flights, food, and accommodation (at “a very nice hotel in Skåne's north-west”) – and according to Östberg - the chance to surf off the coast of Sweden.

Donachie was so surprised at the invitation that he spilled tea all over his laptop in tears of laughter, quickly and graciously accepting the invitation via the social media network Twitter.

While it’s not every day that a flight mix-up makes international news, Donachie is already looking forward to the trip, telling The Local it was a “privilege” to get the invite.

“I know very little about surfing in Malmö: I’d previously said in interviews that there were no waves, and obviously there are – and the guys at Tourism in Skåne are ready to prove it to me! I’m very much looking forward to it!”

Despite admittedly knowing “very little” about Sweden, the 19-year-old is especially keen to surf some Scandinavian waves.

“I’m so happy that this mistake has happened because I probably wouldn’t have been given the opportunity to visit Sweden otherwise,” Donachie told The Local.

“I’d really like to come over on a swell so I can really test out the waves.”

Meanwhile, in a story full of surprises, preparation is key for the second chapter.

When asked for the plan of attack if Donachie’s plane lands somewhere besides Malmö, Östberg laughs.

“Can these things happen twice? If he lands somewhere else, we’ll just have to pick him up and the adventure will begin there,” she told The Local.

Oliver Gee

Follow Oliver on Twitter here

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

09:10 July 2, 2012 by spy
Good story but the word 'invite' is a verb and not a noun.....
09:50 July 2, 2012 by skogsbo
he will be sorely disappointed with the surf down there, the only big wave there is crime.
09:57 July 2, 2012 by Paul_225
Why? Why do the authorities need to spend tax money on some guys holiday? I want a holiday, send me on one. God dammit.
10:01 July 2, 2012 by Garry Jones
Skogsbo - Like▲
10:40 July 2, 2012 by EP
"Toby seems like a pretty spontaneous guy, so we thought we'd invite him back here for a chance to see our surfing culture first hand," Heléne Östberg of Tourism in Skåne told The Local.

Ha, what do Swedes know about spontaneity?

Lucky guy though that we the tax payer pay for his vacation ...
11:24 July 2, 2012 by shard
spy, oh dear, you fell foul of the first rule of being a grammar nazi: always check what you think you know is actually the truth. (hint, try the OED for usage)

Paul & EP - this is an extremely cheap and effective bit of promotion on behalf of Malmö and Skåne; a few thousand krone offer buys what would be many tens of thousands of krone in tourist marketing. When an opportunity like this comes along, one would be negligent *not* to take advantage.
12:05 July 2, 2012 by Paul_225
What kind of method is that? It's going to be a speck on the internet for a week and then forgotten forever. Nobody cares, it's just a stupid gimmick.
13:33 July 2, 2012 by Cephalectomy
nice move malmö, thats how u manage our money
13:47 July 2, 2012 by Åskar

That's how they manage part of the money (and not necessarily tax money) earmarked for advertising and PR.
13:55 July 2, 2012 by spy

Learn the meaning of 'colloquial usage'.
14:05 July 2, 2012 by foxpur

Oxford dictionary of 1966 states that it is both verb and noun.
14:42 July 2, 2012 by Flappytango
Tony dont do it!

This is just a trick to get you back here so the police can give you a urine test. They think you must have been high to get on the wrong plane last time.

I guess maybe you might be high if you think there is worthwhile surfing in malmo.
14:42 July 2, 2012 by muscle
hmm i dont understand, why are you people so against sweden ? :S Jealous that no body invited you or what ?
14:50 July 2, 2012 by Åskar

It's because people just love to whinge about things they know nothing about and don't understand under the anonymity that is Internet.
21:23 July 2, 2012 by Radhus
I would be careful if I was this surfie. I bet he's getting everything paid for just so he can go back to Britain and tell everyone how wonderful the Swedes are (the few that are remaining there) and better yet, how "wonderful" the Swedish "surf" is.

He wasn't disappointed about landing in Sweden by mistake. He wasn't complaining or even threatening to sue, but the Skåne tourist board saw his "story" in the news and thought about how great it would be to use this dude as a cheap promotion tool. The Swedes are that desparate for tourists.

@muscle have you ever lived in Sweden? As if anyone would be jealous lol
21:41 July 2, 2012 by dizzymoe33
I want to come to Sweden and go surfing!!!! :o)
00:16 July 3, 2012 by shard
spy: dear boy, now you are just making yourself look foolish.
00:51 July 3, 2012 by cupidcub
lol.. surfing in skåne ? yeah the waves are indeed big enough to go up to your toe..
07:05 July 3, 2012 by si
There is surf in Skåne..
08:34 July 3, 2012 by muscle

I have been living here for the last three years, and not even a single moment did I regret my stay here, compared to the living in UK and belgium.

And after meeting the show-offs from britain or usa, I felt even more proud that I am living among the people who arent show-offs atleast, if not simple.

I am proud to live in a country that values your work, works good in engineering research, have started organizations that are quickly expanding to different countries, and best of all, all the people love to do exercise

I am really proud to be encouraged by the govt to open new businesses in the country and also love getting paid for fika, twice a day every day, and additional break before OR after lunch!

I am proud to get vacations when I want, as much as even a month off!, get a parental leave with my wife having a maternal leave, all paid!

So yes, if you guys feel there is nothing to get jealous about, well then YOU better visit sweden
11:36 July 4, 2012 by delfinita
@muscle i agree 100%. There are ups and downs but that happens everywhere. So adapt and try to enjoy. The day i feel miserable constantly, i wont stay put and whine, i will do something about it and leave, taking the good memories with me.
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