A dedication ceremony officially naming Ericeira, Portugal as a World Surfing Reserve will take place on October 14th, 2011 at a yet-to-be-confirmed location. Probably somewhere in Ericeira, one might guess.
Ericeira is Portugal’s – and arguably Europe’s – surfing capital. Inclusion in the elite group of WSR beaches may indeed cement Ericeira’s position at the top of European surf destinations.
The Ericeira coast will be the second location in the world to be officially recognized as a World Surfing Reserve by the organization called – wait for it… World Surfing Reserves. Ericeira is the first WSR in Europe; the only current WSR being Malibu, California, home of big waves and big Hollywood egos like Mel Gibson’s. Just kidding Mr. Gibson, please don’t thrown an axe at my forehead, though that would look pretty cool (as it always does).
The stretch of Ericeira coastline to be “WSR’ed” is 4 km (2.5 miles) long and encompasses an impressive variety of surf breaks, such as Ribeira d’Ilhas, site of this year’s Quicksilver Pro Portugal surfing competition.
From a Global Surf News article:
The Ericeira surf zone embodies the full range of attributes that World Surfing Reserves seeks to preserve and enshrine, including excellent surf, beautiful natural setting, and a rich local surf culture.
–Drew Kampion, WSR Executive Committee Member
The purpose of giving such a status to top surfing locations is to preserve natural wave breaks and surrounding areas by highlighting their environmental, cultural and economic value. It’s kind of like conservationism for people who shred.
The next location scheduled to become a World Surfing Reserve is Santa Cruz, California, followed by Manly Beach, Australia.