Surfers Against Sewages (SAS) new campaign Protect Our Waves (POW) had its first action today, The Gathering, a mass paddle out, in association with local campaign group Access Broad Bench Association (ABBA). Over 350 surfers from across the nation joined SAS and ABBA and paddled out at Kimmeridge Bay on International Surfing Day. The action called on the Secretary of State for Defence to allow surfers access to Broad Bench, a special wave found on the outer boundary of a Ministry of Defence (MoD) firing range.
Broad Bench is a quality wave in Kimmeridge Bay, described by many as one of Britain’s best. Unfortunately it falls right on the outer boundary of a MoD firing range. SAS are not asking the MoD to reduce their use of this important firing range. However, SAS believe there is a compromise that will ensure surfers and waveriders can have 100% access to Broad Bench without impacting on the MoDs full use of the firing range.
We are calling on the Secretary of State for Defence to implement SASs compromise, changing where the MoD currently fire from. This will in turn change the direction of the MoDs firing and could leave Broad Bench outside the boundary of the firing range. It will not impact on the MoDs use of the firing range, leaving surfers and waveriders with 100% access to Broad Bench and the MoD full use of their range.
International Surfing Day (ISD), sees surfing events taking place all over the world. There will be events in North and South America, Europe, Asia and Australia but nothing like The Gathering. SAS expect The Gathering to be the best-supported event with over 350 surfers and supporter actively participating at the paddle out protest on ISD.
For more information contact Andy Cummins on 01872 555 950 / 07711 767 548 or andy [at] sas [dot] org [dot] uk
Andy Cummins, SAS Campaign Manager
This unprecedented level of support from UK surfers really highlights the importance the SAS Protect Our Waves Campaign. Broadbench is a special wave with some special surfers protecting it. Today, International Surfing Day, the UK water sports community stood up for their rights, and lefts! Were now calling on the Secretary of State for Defence to do everything in his power to implement a compromise at Broadbench.
Guy Penwarden, local Broadbench surfer and ABBA campaigner
Today SAS, ABBA and hundreds of UK surfers united to protect Broadbench, a special wave, a jewel in the British surfing crown. Surfers and the MoD can use this area without conflict and we hope the Secretary of State for Defence will recognise this.