by Andrew McKinnon
SURF SCENE with Andrew McKinnon
NOOSA, with its famous point breaks, has been voted in by Save the Waves Vision Council as the 10th and latest World Surfing Reserve.
It was the second time that Noosa submitted an application after missing out to the Gold Coast in 2015. Only one WSR is selected each year.
However the 2017 selection was probably the toughest to choose from, with four outstanding candidates, including the Azores Islands in Portugal, Ecuador, Puerto Rico and Noosa.
Noosa was chosen as the 10th World Surfing Reserve for its beautiful point breaks and visionary coastal conservation.
There are now three World Surfing Reserves in Australia: Manly 2012, Gold Coast 2015 and Noosa in 2017, all of which have dual WSR/NSR (National Surfing Reserve) status.
"We are incredibly stoked and humbled to be joining this network of amazing surf locations around the world,” legendary surf journalist and WSR Noosa president Phil Jarratt said.
"It is a crowning achievement for Noosa.”
The latest announcement was made at Punta de Lobos, Chile, on November 17, during the official WSR recognition of Punta de Lobos, a well-known premier big-wave, left-hand point location in South America.
Save the Waves waged a hugely successful campaign to buy back the Punta de Lobos headland from private developers to be returned by the public as a national headland.
In an intimate ceremony, the iconic Mirador property of Punta de Lobos was transferred and the World Surfing Reserve officially dedicated.
In attendance was Punta de Lobos' big wave legend Ramon Navarro, Patagonia ambassadors Greg Long, Kyle Thiermann, Kohl Christensen and Otto Flores, as well as locals at the Foundation Punta de Lobos and surfing musician Jack Johnson.
With the help of Patagonia, the Marisla Foundation, Packard Foundation, Waitt Foundation and more than 900 small donors, Save the Waves and partners were able to raise more than $750,000 towards the purchase of the property.
"This was an ambitious stretch goal with a lot of peaks and valleys along the way,” Save the Waves executive director Nik Strong-Cvetich said.
"We are incredibly proud to be able to achieve this first important conservation milestone and officially add Punta de Lobos to the World Surfing Reserve roster.
"And it is fitting that we announce Noosa as the next and 10th WSR from such an iconic place.”
World Surfing Reserves is a program of Save the Waves and identifies, designates and preserves outstanding waves, surf zones and surrounding environments around the world.
The 10 WSRs are: 1.Ericeira (Portugal); 2. Malibu (US); 3. Manly Beach/ Freshwater (Aus); 4. Santa Cruz (US); 5. Huanchaco (Peru); 6 Bahia de Santo, Baja (Mexico); 7. Punta de Lobos (Chile); 8. Burleigh to Snapper, Gold Coast (Aus); 9. Guarda Do Embau (Brazil); 10. Noosa (Aus).