"Maddeningly inconsistent but enchanting" wave gets disappeared by bureaucrats!
Surfers in Noosa Heads have drawn battle lines against its local council, demanding it “cease all future sand pumping onto the area known as First Point at Noosa Heads – and to work with interested groups to find a solution to the present situation”.
See, the “maddeningly inconsistent” but “enchanting set of tropical right-breaking Australian point waves located inside Noosa Heads National Park, 150 miles north of Brisbane” has become buried under tons of sand.
And, in a petition the Save First Point Action Group writes, “Due initially to the effects of offshore sand dumping, followed by sand pumping by the Noosa Council, and two recent sand flow deposits following flooding, we need a pause to future sand-pumping to allow First Point and Little Cove to recover naturally. We are calling on interested parties and the surfing public from across Australia and around the world to help us Save First Point.”
The science behind the sand, the massive buildup of sand which has all but destroyed First Point’s global reputation as (arguably) one of the world’s great point break surfing waves and (certainly) one of the best longboard waves in the world, has been caused by a complex set of factors, both natural and man-made, and there is no easy fix. What we do know is that, in time, storm swell events will gauge out the record sand level (perhaps as much as 100,000 cubic metres) allowing perfect waves to stand up over a rock and sand bottom and peel down the point as they once did. But the Save First Point Action Group is playing the long game, hoping to convince the council – and the general public – that we need to be proactive to ensure that the natural asset doesn’t disappear again.
The problem with that is that most people don’t surf (despite evidence to the contrary every time we have a swell event) and beachgoers think a Sahara of sand on which to plonk their cabanas is the best thing since sliced bread, while accommodation managers and Hastings Street business folk panic every time the beach erodes and a few rocks are exposed, to the point of privately organising the dumping of several truckloads of sand some years ago just ahead of the Christmas rush.
While its importance to the modern-day shredder has diminished a little, although the last time I flew up there to chase a cyclone swell I was sharing the green-walled waves with Julian Wilson and Wade Goodall, it remains a natural treasure.
“Surfing at Ti Tree Bay,” the shaper Bob McTavish once said, “is like having a cup of tea with God.”