By Laura Kemp • 11 November 2021 • 12:39
Barcelona surfers furious after being banned from the sea in high waves. Photo credit: Pixabay
Surfers in Barcelona are up in arms that the council has banned them from entering the sea when rad flags are up, which can incur penalties that range between €750 euros and €1,500.
Being able to surf when the red flag is hoisted is the main time for those who practice the sport in the Catalan capital, however, Barcelona has prohibited the sport in high waves, something that does not happen in other Catalan municipalities.
Xavier Casanueva, a 35-year-old surfer was told to leave the sea yesterday, November 10, in Somorrostro beach in Barcelona because there was a red flag.
Xavier said: “Let them leave us alone for a day when we have waves. When there are waves, they throw us out. It’s surreal.”
Yesterday, storm Blas brought good waves, but they could not enjoy them calmly because officers of the Guardia Urbana guarded the beaches of the city and made them leave the water, also identifying some of the surfers.
Xavier says that he came out of the water and when the police did not see him he went back to the other side with “about 12” of his companions.
Xavier also complains that the Guardsmen act with “arrogance”, and only when there are “few” surfers.
“We are not bathers. We surf. It is a sport,” he says, demanding that the City Council allow them to surf with a red flag.
And he adds: “It’s as if they told you that you can’t ski when there is snow.”
“We need certain conditions to surf,” says the president of the Catalan Surf Federation, Carles Lopez, saying that the group feels misunderstood in the face of Barcelona’s veto.
He also points out that other Catalan towns such as Badalona, Castelldefels and Palamos do allow athletes to enter the sea despite the fact that the beaches are closed to bathers.
According to Lopez, the councils of these municipalities have contacted the federation to attend to surfers’ requests and to inquire about their situation in the Catalan capital.
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Originally from UK, Laura is based in Axarquia and is a writer for the Euro Weekly News covering news and features.
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