Dave Rastovich

After 19 days of surfing, paddling and sailing their way down the NSW coast, the environmental awareness group led by pro surfer Dave Rastovich has successfully passed the halfway point of their intended 700km, 36 day voyage from Byron Bay to Sydney’s Bondi Beach.  

Titled “Transparentsea” the initiative, which began on October 1st, aims to draw attention to the plight of the migrating humpback whales as the team follows their path south and to highlight issues of environmental concern to do with Australia’s East Coast.

Speaking from Point Plomer near Crescent Head on Day 20, Rastovich acknowledged the numerous, unforgettable whale and dolphin encounters his team had experienced. However, the alarming amount of debris that has been located and collected at the various locations the team has visited is a concern.

“At times, adult humpback whales and their calves have chosen to surface two feet away from our kayaks, which has just been amazing,” explained Rastovich.

“We’ve also camped in some of the most beautiful beachside campgrounds and surfed those beaches, but picked up hundreds and hundreds pieces of plastic and rubbish in places that look ‘Good from far, but are far from good’,” he added.

Rastovich, who says his team is on track to reach Bondi by the planned date of November 5th, also urged everyone who shared the vision of the Transparentsea environmental awareness initiative to support the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society founded by anti-whaling activist Paul Watson.

Rastovich noted that the Sea Shepherd is the only organisation planning to send a vessel to help defend the whales in the Southern Ocean sanctuary from Japanese whalers in December. While Watson has been a focus of the media after Australian Immigration denied his entry based on issues to do with his visa.

“It has been very disappointing to learn that the Australian Government recently obstructed Paul Watson’s entry to Australia, rather than welcoming him as a great defender of the whales,” said Rastovich.

“Instead of upholding their pre election promise to challenge Japanese whaling in international court and to protect the Southern Ocean sanctuary, the Australian Government appears to have turned their back on the whales that are once again under threat.”

It’s anticipated that dozens of surfers and well wishers will welcome the Transparentsea voyagers, which includes Rastovich, fellow surfer, artist and activist Chris Del Moro (San Diego, CA, USA), musician Will Conner (Byron Bay, NSW), photographer Hilton Dawe (Byron Bay, NSW), a support team and special guests, when they negotiate the last few hundred metres from the sea to the shore at Bondi Beach on November 5th.

Kelly Slater

Kelly Slater, 9 times Surfing World Champion, and widely recognised as the greatest surfer ever, supports Surfers Against Sewage’s (SAS) Protect Our Waves campaign (POW).

Slater signed the 1,000th POW campaign postcard and today SAS will send Slater’s card to the Secretary of State for Defence (SoS). SAS’s 1,000 POW postcards call on the SoS to review the Ministry of Defence surfing ban at Broad Bench, one of the UK’s premier waves. 

Broad Bench falls on the outer boundary of a Ministry of Defence firing range and surfing can be prohibited whilst the MoD are using the range.  SAS understands that the MoD needs unrestricted use of their range, but believe there is a compromise that allows surfers full use of Broad Bench and the MoD full use of their range. 

Slater was joined by some of the world's best surfers, past, present and future, in pledging their support to SAS's POW campaign. Old guard legends Jeff Hakman and past world champion Wayne ‘Rabbit’ Bartholomew were stoked to add their signatures first, closely followed by two of the most powerful and stylish surfers in the world, Taylor Knox and Luke Egan.

The next generation of possible world champions also realised the importance of the campaign with Jeremy Flores and Jordy Smith signing the POW postcard, along with Roy Powers, one of the nicest surfers you could meet.  These international surfing superstars were joined by the UK’s own surfing champions Gabe Davies and Alan Stokes. 

SAS are harnessing the fantastic support from these top surfers to renew our request for a meeting with the SoS for Defence, calling for a solution that will allow the army full use of their firing range and permit surfers full access to the Broad Bench wave.

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All Points South

Save The Waves is very proud to announce that our documentary "All Points South" received the Best Short Film award at the New York Surf Film Festival 2009. Many thanks to the NYSFF, for producing yet another stellar festival!

"All Points South" follows the story of surfers and fishermen activists in Chile and their struggle against forestry industry pollution of coastal waters and waves.

Film director Sachi Cunningham commented from Los Angeles, California about the award: "We're thrilled with the recognition and hope that it inspires surfers everywhere who are concerned about the environment to not only think globally about our oceans' health, but also act locally to keep their breaks clean.”

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The Triple Crown of Surfing is surfing's most prestigious specialty event series and the most important title in professional surfing after the Championship Tour (CT) title.

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