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SAVE VARGAS BEACH

on 15. January, 2014 – 13:53 / 11 Comments

The “Demarcation of Coast and Ports” (coastline office)  has closed the access for cars to Playa de Vargas on Gran Canaria. They have placed a barrier. Playa de Vargas is a famous windsurfing beach on Gran Canaria, where many locals and tourists from all around the world love to sail. In the past the beach played host for Windsurfing Worldcups and many locals events. 

 

We have seen barriers, restrictions, harbors, etc. at windsurfing spots all around the world and we have the feeling that these restrictions are getting more and more. Often bigger projects are in the background, most of the time hotel projects or harbors. We think the windsurfing community, directly  or indirectly affected, must unite to be strong enough to stop this trend. Please sign the petition and/or if you are on Gran Canaria take part in the demonstration on January 18, 11:00 on Playa de Vargas.

 

 

Vargas barriere for cars - Credits: Photo by Ugo Fabbri - windsurfing forever

Vargas barriere for cars – Credits: Photo by Ugo Fabbri – windsurfing forever

 

PRESS RELEASE: THE CLOSURE OF THE ACCESS TO VARGAS BEACH

Gran Canaria is a worldwide privileged place to practice watersports, with plenty of wind and waves. The southeast coastline allows the practice of windsurfing and kitesurfing all year round, with World renowned spots like Pozo Izquierdo (where the PWA World Cup takes place since more than 25 years ago) and Vargas (home of several PWA World Cups too) Vargas beach has been pretty much abandoned and forgotten by the governments for decades, but has been used by windsurfers for over 40 years. It is one of the most important spots in the Island due to its conditions: it is an ample beach with a wide variety of conditions of wind and waves for beginners, advance or even professional sailors, both in windsurfing and kitesurfing.

 

Vargas beach (Pic: Nayra Alonso)

Vargas beach (Pic: Nayra Alonso)

 

During all these years, only the Agüimes city council has been interested and in favor of collaborating and improving the area. Only two small areas in the coastline are used to practice these sports. This allows the users to park at a certain distance from the water, making it accessible for everyone to carry their gear down to the beach, and for the kitesurfers and windsurfers to have their own areas, which is essential for safety reasons. Kitesurfers and windsurfers access these areas by already existing dirt tracks, being absolutely respectful with the rest of the surrounding areas. Their presence has actually helped in great measure to keep the place well protected from other illicit activities as there is users pretty much everyday of the year.

 

People from all over the island, water sports schools, and plenty of tourists from all over Europe use this beach to practice windsurf and kitesurf. This has also a significant economical impact in the area. We are aware that preserving this special natural environment and restrict its uses is necessary, for which we are totally in favor and available to collaborate. Actually, right before the closure of the accesses we were working on a proposal of use of the area, that could be compatible with the actual legislation and environmentally friendly with the area.

We believe that the place has potential to be enjoyed by its users and at the same time be respectful with the natural environment and the public areas. For this we are in favor of working together to find a solution. The “Demarcacion de Costas de Las Palmas” (coastline office), according the new Coast Law, has proceeded to the closure of the beach without previous notice and without offering any alternative option to the users until the final resolution is made. This means the stop of activity for businesses and private users of the beach. Vargas Beach is absolutely vital for these sports in the island, making it very necessary to find an imminent legitimate solution that allows the use of our wonderful coastline.

 

 

 

 

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11 Comments »

  • Mitch says:

    Koster did all this so that he can be training on his own right in front of his house! :-p

  • nil says:

    guess what would happen if somebody would like to build a hotel there…
    this alibi coastal prevention concept is totally pathetic if you look around the islands what projects gets planning permission. $$$…
    really a shxxt for everybody, especially the kiters.
    absolutely no brainers …

  • jojo says:

    I read something similar in the C7 tweets a few days ago about the waves at Nazare, Portugal and the surfing community. Access has been denied to the spot by the authorities during forecasts. Requirements for life boats, watchers from the cliffs and the beach connected with walky talkies…satellites.. The author of the article was frustrated when trying to do photo shoot of the epic conditions. The first thing that goes through one’s mind is- well, this is bad but,ok the authorities are looking after us, they have to do their job… But rumors among the local surfers ( growing more and more signifcant btw) are that this is how big brands are paying off local authorities for keeping the spots and conditions only for their team members and kicking out all possible competition !!!!….. Now if this is true it is appalling!! not to say even paranoic. And now after a few days the same signal comes from Vargas and the windsurfing world!! Needless to say Vargas is a consistent strong wind wave spot where one can enjoy, crash or improve by the day depending on his skills. I don’t believe it is Philip’s idea to cut off the beach from tourist windsurfers, but I will not be surprised if this idea has been generated in some mutant brain from a corporate smallcreep at Severne,Starboard, whatever. If this is true, which I deeply don’t want to believe, it can be done only in conjunction by the brands and the local nomenclature,WHICH says in what direction the cash flows…. Cutting off Vargas means that all kiters will go quess where…to Pozo which btw is cut off for the most part of July because of the PWA. Than comes august where the hordes of windsurfers need traffic control. Yes it is windy there whole year around, but not so many people are willing to spend 2500 euro for ten days during may or september for two days of 4.7 conditions. Now maybe the local municipality(ayuntamiento) may come with some kind of” strong wind- admission-to-the-water” tax, the funds from which might go for fighthing worldwide famine…… I was planning to visit Gran Canaria again, but after this message- NO THANK YOU! For the numerous,honest,humble, local and not so local windsurfers,loving their sport to the extreme, I will say FIGHT FOR YOUR RIGHT!! Meanwhile, where is my SUP ?

  • andrew says:

    Come to Cornwall. We don,t restrict access to our beaches down here. Its windy all year waves are pumping its not crowded and as long as you don’t drop in on the locals its reasonably friendly. It isn’t even particularly cold.

    get a ferry to Plymouth and you are almost there. no airport, no stress happy days.

  • Max says:

    Take a solid SUV and take the thing down ^^

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