World Champs Back World Surfing Reserve at Australia’s Gold Coast
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 18 January, 2014 - Queensland, Australia – Mick Fanning and Joel Parkinson have come forward to battle for the preservation of the waves that helped make them both Association of Surfing Professionals World Champions. The two learned their trade on the Gold Coast of Australia and have now dedicated themselves to ensuring the opportunity will be passed forward to future generations.
After joining the battle to defeat the creation of a cruise ship terminal and resort near the world-famous Kirra Beach, the two surf champions (Joel was World Champ for 2012, Mick is the reigning 2013 champ) are now concentrating on halting another cruise ship terminal in the area.
Fanning and Parkinson join 11-time World Surfing Champion Kelly Slater (from Florida USA) as ambassadors advocating for the creation of a new World Surfing Reserve (WSR) that would extend from South Stradbroke Island to Snapper Rocks on the NSW border.
NSR welcomes today’s announcement by the Mayor of the Gold Coast, Tom Tate, that he would support a WSR nomination.
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who is an avid surf life saver, supported the creation of the first WSR in Australia at Manly in Sydney in 2012. It was at Manly’s Freshwater Beach that surfing was introduced to the southern continent by Hawaiian Duke Kahanamoku, the father of modern surfing, in 1914.
Kirra, too, has an important history for surfers, but its reputation and legacy are the product of the exceptional quality of the waves here. Both Fanning and Parkinson rate Kirra as the best ride in the world, and the recent fight over the cruise ship terminal has made clear the importance of this natural resource to the population of the Gold Coast community and its multi-billion-dollar tourism industry.
WSR co founder and National Surfing Reserves founder Brad Farmer, who met the world champs at Kirra, said “between them the WSR Ambassadors hold 14 world surfing championships and its timely they are now enthusiastically championing environmental threats to the world’s beaches.
“The beaches belong to everyone and the surfing community globally are now galvanising to ensure iconic surfing breaks are preserved through WSR, much like UNESCO World Heritage sites.”,
The World Surfing Reserve program seeks to enshrine and protect the world’s iconic surf spots. So far, Malibu and Santa Cruz (in California), Ericiera (in Portugal), and Manly-Freshwater have been created. Bahia Todos Santos (Baja Mexico) and Huanchaco (Peru) have been approved and are awaiting enshrinement.
Kirra and this magnificent stretch of the Gold Coast will make worthy additions to this list of the world’s great surfing beaches. The Gold Coast currently has three National Surfing Reserves at Burleigh Heads, Currumbin and Kirra-Snapper Rocks which were dedicated by the Governor of Queensland in 2012.