"I’d go to war to keep this place the way it is … We gotta keep Teahupoo Teahupoo."
Just in from the wildly lovely tropical island called Tahiti is news the Olympic barge for Paris 2024 has accidentally “destroyed” a section of the famous Teahupoo reef.
The Instagram account @saveteahupoo reports,
To maintain transparency, the authorities had planned to take the associations on the barge tomorrow to show us how it works, but instead they went there today without us.
The barge got stuck on the reef several times just as planned by the locals.
This is on high tide and no load on the barge.
This barge is supposed to carry an aluminum tower that will be planted on the reef for a 3 day surf competition for the Olympic games of 2024. Despite local and international mobilisation, @paris2024 is still planning on building on the reef of Teahupo’o
As long as your humour holds and the apparent “ecocide” of a hunk of colourful coral doesn’t trigger you, the accompanying video on the post is pretty funny. It’s like your ol pal DR, who ain’t no helmsman, got behind the wheel of the barge and hacked through the precious reef.
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It’s been a wild few months in Teahupoo.
Ever since Olympic organisers announced a magnificent aluminium judging tower would be built on the reef at a cost of five-mill US and demolished the old wooden structure used by the WSL citing safety issues.
Local surfer Tahurai Henry, who organised a mass protest against what he regards as rich man’s folly, said at the time.
“This judge’s tower project will completely destroy a large part of the lagoon in the face of the most beautiful wave in the world! A construction worth over 500 million francs for 3-4 days of competition that won’t be reused for our local surfers!”
Meanwhile, surfers in the event will be housed in a Chinese-owned cargo ship, the Aranui 5, described as “the Pacific’s strangest cruise ship” and “the weird offspring of a love affair between a cargo freighter and a passenger liner.”
If you’ve ever been to this town of fifteen-hundred souls at the literal end of the road in Tahiti-iti, seventy clicks or so from the capital Papeete, you’ll know what a low-fi place it is outside of the annual WSL event there when the only noise you’ll hear is the great swoosh of water as Filipe reverse paddles into a set.
“I’d go to war to keep this place the way it is … We gotta keep Teahupoo Teahupoo,” Henry Tahurai told The Guardian. He says he’s “scared “of what might happen to his “little piece of paradise… We’re not doing it for us, we’re doing it for the next generation.”