The order of the Captain of the Port, Zeferino Henriques, says that, by determination of the Health Centres Grouping (ACES) West North, people are now allowed to practice ‘free surfing’ and ‘tow-in surfing’ (in which a surfer is towed to the wave by a jet ski) on Praia do Norte, “only on weekdays, in the period between sunrise and 1pm”.
The order repeals the ban that had been in place since November 4, on the basis of a negative opinion from the health authorities, alleging danger to public health in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, due to the high number of spectators that flocked to the north beach on 29 October, the date on which giant waves were recorded.
The Mayor of Nazaré, Walter Chicharro, welcomed “this solution put forward by the captain of the Port to open the beach to ‘surfing’ and big-wave surfers,” but in a statement to the Lusa agency regretted that “the Directorate General of Health (DGS) has not yet weighed in on the Contingency Plan that the municipality has submitted.
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The Nazaré City Council presented to the DGS, in the first week of November, a contingency plan to avoid the concentration of the public, and to ensure the standards of containment of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The contingency plan, developed in conjunction with civil protection, volunteer firefighters, PSP and the Captaincy of the Port of Nazaré, provides for restricting the public attracted by the giant waves to “a maximum of 2,500 people, distributed around the lighthouse area, the slope and the beach itself,” the mayor said.
Since the beginning of November the waiting period for the Nazaré Tow-in Surfing Challenge - an event of the World Surf League (WSL) that lasts until 31 March 2021 - has been running with surfers waiting for the formation of giant waves.
“The WLS has already admitted that the event can be disputed without an audience, but knowing the interest in the days of big waves, even without competition, the Chamber is prepared to activate the plan at any time and ensure safe conditions for spontaneous surfing,” concluded Walter Chicharro.
Check out the surf at Nazaré live.