The original tower. Maybe use this and give the $5 mill to an eco charity?
Photo Tim McKenna
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Locals in Tahiti have protested against a proposed $5 million aluminum judging tower that Olympic Games organisers want to construct at the surf break for the 2024 Paris Olympics, and the worlds top surfers have backed them.
A wooden tower has been used at Chopes for years whiteout incident, and locals say the new tower would damage the reef and ecosystem. Matahi Drollet said,
“This is going to damage the reef and the whole ecosystem of the lagoon in front of the wave… and in the worst case scenario the wave of Teahupo’o also.
“The Ocean and the lagoon is the most precious place we have here. This is where we get our food from, where we play, where’s we spend most of our time and where we have the most perfect wave in the world. It’s a heritage of our ancestors that we need to preserve.
“Our association that regroups Fisherman’s, farmers, surfers, the population of Teahupo’o, younger older people … we are against this new tower. We want them to use the normal judging tower that WSL uses every year. It works perfectly fine and they need to adapt to our environment and listen to what us locals say.”
“”The impact and the risk are too important for only three days of contest. This message is for Paris 2024.”
Long time Chopes surf photog Tim McKenna said in a post
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” Every year the wooden judging tower at Teahupoo is assembled in the lagoon just before the @wsl event dates for the Tahiti Pro.
Shortly after it is taken down and stored in containers ready for the next year. Sometimes a few pieces of wood need to be changed but it has basically been the same structure for the last 20 years.
“For the surfing events of the @paris2024 Olympic games the governing body requires a much larger and complex judging tower with very strict specifications. The tower needs to accommodate more people, have a perfect security standard, an air conditioned room for the judges, electricity, running water for toilets and high speed internet cables.
“The new alluminum tower is going to cost USD $5 million and have permanent cables and pipes from shore to the middle of the lagoon but the tower will also be disassembled after the event to mimimise the visual impact during the year. Yesterday over 500 people gathered at Teahupoo to do a peacefull walk to protest against this new tower and the impact it could have on the environment. Let’s hope the locals and environmental specialists and associations will follow all this process to make sure the end of the road stays in all it’s pristine glory.”
Most the Pro Surfing world seems to back them, and it seems common sense. A petition has been set up and you can sign it here…