ISA (International Surfing Association) gets involved with the Olympic Tower controversy at Teahupoo. Posturing or real ?


Recently , the Associated Press reported the resumption of construction on the controversial aluminum Teahupo’o tower by Olympic organizers, following a brief hiatus. Concurrently, a research study conducted by Cliff Kapono and scientists from the Mega Lab examined the reef of Teahupo’o, revealing that activities related to the barge path and tower construction could potentially impact an area of 2,500 square meters, causing an estimated $1.3 million USD in damages to the living habitat. Today, the International Surfing Association (ISA), an independent governing body acknowledged by the International Olympic Committee, declared their opposition to the ongoing construction efforts.


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Their statement was as follows:
“The ISA will not support the construction of the new judges’ tower at Teahupo’o. On December 9th, the ISA sent a proposal to the French Polynesian Government and Paris 2024 organizers to run the Olympic Surfing competition in Teahupoo, without building a new aluminum tower on the reef.
The ISA proposal included judging the competition remotely, with live images shot from land, water and drones. Subsequently the French Polynesian Government decided to go forward with a plan to build a new aluminum tower on the reef.
The determination that the existing wooden judging tower, used up until August 2023, was not legally compliant, was taken by the Government of French Polynesia. We are ready to work together with all the stakeholders in the best interests of the sport, the environment and the local community.“

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