Malmö invites surfer back ‘to see the waves’

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.

Malmö invites surfer back ‘to see the waves’

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

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.