SAVE VARGAS BEACH
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.
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.
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.