Toby Donachie, a 19-year-old professional surfer from Cornwall in the UK, was surprised in June to discover he had boarded the wrong Ryaniar flight from London, ending up in Malmö rather than sunny Biarritz in France.
When he told British media at the time that the beaches were better in Biarritz, Tourism in Skåne jumped at the chance to prove young Toby wrong.
“We mostly reacted to the way it was described as a ‘mistake’ to go to Malmö for surfing,” Sara Brynskog, PR manager of Tourism in Skåne told The Local.
“And of course, we also felt that Toby seemed to be a guy who would be open minded and eager to try out something new.”
Donachie and a friend finally took up Skåne’s surf-trip offer over the weekend, but not everything went according to plan.
“Sadly, the waves were flat so I didn’t get the opportunity to surf,” Donachie confessed to The Local.
However, tourism official Brynskog didn’t consider the offer to be in vain.
“It was definitely not a waste of time. As a professional surfer, Toby could well appreciate the potential of the area, and he said that he would definitely come back,” she said.
Instead of riding the waves, the surfer instead took a boat trip and enjoyed a night out on the town in Helsinborg.
“They were really impressed by the skate parks too,” said Brynskog.
Donachie was pleased with the trip too, despite the flat seas.
“I feel so fortunate to have been offered the opportunity to visit Sweden, as I probably wouldn’t have realized everything it has to offer otherwise,” he said.
“The landscape is so beautiful and the people are incredibly friendly.”
“Me and a friend are already planning another tour next year to get some waves and make some movies. But I will never forget this trip!”