Here’s why the big names of surfing are in town
AS THE sun beat down and storm clouds gathered in the west, the towel was lifted on a shiny new plaque to commemorate Noosa being officially declared the 10th World Surfing Reserve at midday.
A large crowd of surfers, dignitaries and spectators at Noosa National Park watched
on as Noosa World Surfing Reserve president Phil Jarrett hosted the milestone event that has been “seven years in the making”.
Among those watching on were surfing legends Layne Beachley, Hayden Kenny, Josh Constable, Jordan Mercer and Dean Brady.
Seven times world surfing champion and chair of Surfing Australia Layne Beachley said preserving such environmental rarities as Noosa now in the form of a World Surfing Reserve “puts the impetus on future generations to protect it”.
“Noosa is special is so many ways and that’s a testament to all those who have had the foresight to protect this unique area,” she said.
The World Surfing Reserves program, administered by the California-based Save The Waves Coalition, recognises not just world class surf breaks, but the strength of the local surfing community and the commitment of the surfing community to protect its surf ecosystem.
Save the Waves executive director Nic Strong-Cvetich said Noosa met every criteria “in spades”
“Noosa is beautiful, we all know that, but there are key criteria that we selected Noosa on these are, firstly, the quality and the consistency of the waves,” Mr Strong-Cvetich said.
“Secondly, the environmental characteristics of this place are unchartered.
“It’s truly a unique blend of nature and surfing that does not exist anywhere else in the world.
“To see a koala looking out over the surf break in a National Park in a primary forest is truly astonishing and that is something that you should be truly proud to see every day.
“Thirdly, the surf culture, the world champions that have come from Noosa, this place has a rich surf clulture and history.
“Last, and probably most important, is local capacity for support.
“What you guys have in your local council is completely unmatched. We have to look to you as an example for other world surfing reserves on how you do this and how you do this coprrectly.
“From the mayor’s involement to the state and federal levels, to the local people who give their time day in, day out over a period of seven years is truly incredible.
“So I can tell you that Noosa meets all of the criteria in spades.”
Mr Strong-Cvetich said the other surfing reserves across the globe should look to Noosa in terms of “best practice”.
“I think what makes this unique is that 60 years ago you were already thinking of the threats that yuou would face 60 years into the future and so the combination of surfing and a national park is truly globally relevant.
“We are going to use you as an example of how we make a successful world surfing reserve and the rest of the 10 are going to come to you guys.
“This is a huge milestone today, but it’s also the begining of a lot more hard work because part of this is the ongoing stewardship of resources; it’s the river, it’s the point, it’s the amount of visitors who come here.
“In all honesty, this is one of the truly unique surfing locations around the world.”