Kelly Slater: he wanted to take that board home

Kelly Slater has formally dedicated the Manly-Freshwater World Surfing Reserve, the first of its kind in Australia and the third, right after Malibu (USA) and Ericeira (Portugal).

"Australia has the world's best beaches," said Slater, the 11-time world surfing champion and 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."

Slater posed at the ceremony with the original board that Hawaiian legend Duke Kahanamoku built and rode at Manly-Freshwater, back 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.

The four-kilometer (2.5 mile) Manly-Freshwater World Surfing Reserve is known as the birthplace of Australian surfing.

"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.

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.

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