Kelly Slater and Marie Bashir, Governor of New South Wales, Australia, held a ceremony at Manly Beach in order to formally dedicate the Manly-Freshwater World Surfing Reserve. The reserve is the first of its kind in Australia, and only the third worldwide.
"Australia has the world's best beaches," said Slater, who is an 11-time world surfing champion, as well as a World Surfing Reserves global ambassador. "You think of sacred as an empty beach somewhere where no one is, but then you think of the history of a place like Manly especially in the symbolic terms of surfing."
Learn more about this unique venture in the release below:
March 10, 2012 Slater posed at the ceremony with the original board that Hawaiian legend Duke Kahanamoku built and rode at Manly-Freshwater in 1914. The four-kilometer (2.5 mile) Manly-Freshwater World Surfing Reserve joins just two other such surfing reserves in the world, namely Malibu, USA (2010) and Ericeira, Portugal (2011). "World Surfing Reserves give formal recognition to the world's most significant surfing beaches, acknowledging their outstanding surf breaks as well as the rich surfing history and culture associated with them," said Mayor of Manly, Councillor Jean Hay. Councillor Hay is Chair of the Manly-Freshwater World Surfing Reserve Steering Committee. World Surfing Reserves is an international initiative based on models established by UNESCO's World Heritage Program and National Surfing Reserve Reserves Australia to recognize and help protect outstanding surf zones and their surrounding environments, around the world. World Surfing Reserves' board of international experts forges partnerships with local communities to select, enshrine, and help protect globally significant surf spots of universal value. Manly-Freshwater is known as the birthplace of Australian surfing and was the very stretch of coastline where the great Hawaiian surfer and Olympian Duke Kahanamoku first demonstrated the art of board riding in Australia in 1914. The Duke came to Manly-Freshwater and carved a board out of local timber and rode the board at Freshwater beach in front of an amazed Australian crowd.