The political aim is to convince Madeiran public opinion that the unique surfing conditions of Jardim do Mar were not harmed with the massive construction. That those conditions are the same («mesmas»), optimum («óptimas») or even better («melhores») than before as politicians still claim. (Portuguese version updated September 2)
When surfers protested some heavy construction that destroyed pristine coastline, they were slandered and ostracized by Madeiran public authorites. Isn't it an insult if those same authorities asked the surfers to organize a world surf competition for their own political gains?
To prove that these surfers were (are) wrong when they stated that the unique surfing conditions of Ponta Jardim were compromised? To have surfer's fight to save the wave considered pointless if a contest is organized by the very same surfers?
We wish that an international competition is held again in Ponta Jardim, in the village of Jardim do Mar, do not get us wrong. More details further on.
One year ago it a promise was made to organize a competition, which has not taken place yet for some good reason. The promise was renewed last Monday by someone of the Municipality of Calheta. To prove that surfers were wrong and that Ponta Jardim surf spot still has the same conditions.
It would be the first surf competition of any kind to take place in Ponta Jardim since 2000 (Madeira Big Wave Team Challenge - you can see the winner Cass Collier in the picture in this post) and since the promenade/seawall was finished. It would help to promote the sport, Madeira as a tourism destiny and would be good for local enconomy.
It would be great if there was a new attitude from local and Madeiran public authorities concerning surf and the gains this niche in the market of tourism brings to Calheta and other places in Madeira.
However, that may be compromised if it simultaneously promotes an international surf competition in Ponta Jardim as well as a political agenda.
The political aim is to convince Madeiran public opinion that the unique surfing conditions of Jardim do Mar were not harmed with the massive construction. That those conditions are the same («mesmas»), optimum («óptimas») or even better («melhores») than before as public authorities claim.
It would not recognize the economic, sport and marketing potential of the surf tourism market. It would not contribute to pacify the relationship with surfers, in spite of public authorities in Madeira having been victorious, done all the construction they wanted to do and ostracized and humiliated surfers and environamentalists. Surfers lost that fight.
It will be great if competitions are held in Ponta Jardim, but it is condemnable, besides being a strategic error, if used as well for immediate political gains. It would be oportunism and superficial interest. It would be an insult to surfers.
Until 2001/2002 surf was used to promote some people and places in Madeira. Then surfers were ostracized when critical to wave destruction or damaging. Now, some politicians want to use surf and surfers again for their own gain as the doings of the past could be wiped out.
If a competition is held in Ponta Jardim it does not prove that there are the same («mesmas») conditions or even better than before. You would only prove that a competition can happen in unperfect conditions. The Portuguese football team has played recently a game in Armenia in a field with bad conditions for the World Cup. In spite of that the game took place.
Ponta Jardim as an excellent and beautiful surfspot and coastline. Now the massive concrete blocks create greater danger and limit the opportunity to surf to low tide sessions. These same massive concrete blocks make access to sea impossible and are an "eye sore" for filming. And now the politicians responsable for this debacle want to spend lots of taxpayers money to attract top surfers for a competition that endagers their lives.
We can't avoid mentioning that this is a contradiction comparing to the former acts, when people were instigated to kick the surfers out of the village. In November 9, 2002, the surfers tried to discuss with the population less extreme alternatives for the seawall. They, as many locals, wanted a compromise: a narrower promenade without burying the 800 metres lava beach and invading the sea with million of massive cement blocks.
Surfers were slandered and ostracized by Madeiran public authorites when criticized some heavy construction in the coastline. Wouldn't it be an insult if those same authorities asked the surfers to organize a world surf competition just to help them achieve their political gains?
Surfers must ask themselves if it is wise to help the very politicians who ostracized them to achieve their own political goals.
Surfers and environmentalists are being asked to help deny that the unique conditions of Ponta Jardim are compromised. That the fight surfers and environmentalists went through was much to do about nothing. That they were totally wrong and ridiculous.
Wouldn't be better if the surfers promote and organize the competitions spontaneously, according to the sport calender and the surf market? Local government could decide any support if asked to. Why enhance the image of the people who slandered and ostracized them a few years back?
The surfers wish they could promote competitions in Ponta Jardim. If the competitions don't happen it's not because of the lack of interest and will of surfers. But possibly because the original conditions have changed.
But we wish that the opinions of the politicians change, although great harm has already been done. We'll see what happens in a near future: if they intend to instigate more pitched battles and polemics or, on the contrary, want to pacify the relationship with surf for the benifit of everyone.
If Madeiran politicians want now to please surfers, support surf and be benevolent and proactive, there is something simple to do: fix the damage caused to places like Lugar de Baixo, Ponta Jardim and Ponta Delgada and do not harm or destroy any more waves. More important than promoting competitions to fit a political agenda...
- Mafra homenageia surfistas, Madeira escorraça-os I (bilingual)
- Mafra homenageia surfistas, Madeira escorraça-os II (bilingual)
- Câmara da Calheta quer surf de volta II: motivação e realidade
- Save The Waves promove estudo sobre o mercado turístico do surf (bilingual)
- Surf promovido na montra de Turismo da Madeira
- Surf, turismo de pata-rapada?...
- Câmara da Calheta quer surf de volta I: campeonato mundial na Ponta Jardim
- Surf faz parte do Plano de Desenvolvimento 2007-2013 da Madeira
- El Salvador aposta no surf para reanimar economia
- Indústria do Surf com significativo impacto económico em Portugal
- Governo insiste que surf está igual ou até melhor: vamos aos FACTOS
- Interessa? Não interessa? Decida-se I
- Interessa? Não interessa? Decidam-se II
- Interessa? Não interessa? Os privados já decidiram III
- Interessa? Não interessa? Outro exemplo como sim IV
Photo copyright (c) Shawn Alladio)