SOS – Save our Surf – the environmental association with extensive technical capabilities which not only preserves waves but also works towards developing surfing and other wave sports, was on Madeira Island this week along with a number of invited surfers with the aim of taking important steps in the safeguarding and development of surfing in this region.
During two very intense days, SOS – Save our Surf was represented at its highest level, through Pedro Bicudo and Pedro Monteiro, president and vice president respectively, on Madeira Island. After learning through surfers in Madeira of the project called ” Ligação Marginal entre o Cemitério e o Cais de Paul do Mar (Costal connection between the Cemetery and the Paul do Mar Harbour) ” SOS’s directors decided that an effort should be made to ensure the association participates in the public consultation of the project. As is known, the chance of this work becoming reality led to a great debate notably in social networks between the community of Portuguese surfers and particularly among the Madeiran surfers, who fear losing the wave Paul do Mar. Thus upon arrival in Madeira SOS met with locals surfers and some representatives of organisations related to surfing such as the Núcleo de Surf da Associação Desportos da Madeira (ADM), the Clube Naval do Funchal and the Centro de Treino Mar.
There was an informal meeting where there was a strong desire from the surfing community and the hotel and commercial organisations to continue to work in defence and development of the sport on Madeira Island. In the event scheduled by the local surfers SOS had the opportunity to meet with Dr. Baeta Manuel de Castro, the Mayor of Calheta. It was a very productive conversation in which the association was able to present several studies that demonstrate the relevance of the surf elsewhere in our country. In the end, Dr. Manuel Castro Baeta proved to be very sensitive to the issues raised by SOS and revealed that at the municipality of Calheta surfing is seen as a natural sport to preserve and enhance. On the same day, SOS – Save our Surf met with João Correia, Director of Regional Environment. A meeting where the Paul do Mar project was discussed with a view to preserving the world class wave that breaks with considerable regularity. Again, the meeting was extremely positive and regional organisations were shown to be susceptible to the impacts on the surf included in the Environmental Impact Study of the Paul do Mar project. There was still time for a brief chat with the President of the Paul da Madeira council who confirmed that local authorities are committed to the development of surfing in their council. At present, SOS along with Madeiran surfers and organisations are developing a study that aims to demonstrate the potential of surfing in the Calheta area, where you can find the mythical waves of Jardim do Mar, Paul do Mar and Ponta Pequena.
SOS – Save our Surf believes this trip to Madeira was a success and the prospects for preserving the wave Paul do Mar are very real. SOS – Save our Surf would like to thank the collaboration of everyone involved in this mission, especially the surfers on the island of Madeira who with their effort managed to schedule two very important meetings that may have decided the future of Paul do Mar.