Vig­i­lante group White Shorts are known for vi­o­lence to­wards vis­it­ing surfers

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - SPORT -

de­cided they didn’t like what I was say­ing.” Next thing, Kahn was be­ing held down and re­peat­edly punched in the face. He didn’t re­tal­i­ate. Luck­ily, his son cap­tured Bruno pad­dling to­wards the kids, and a tourist got pho­tos of his dad, who re­leased a video calmly stat­ing how he was tak­ing the in­ci­dent fur­ther.

As Kahn says, it’s not just about lo­cal­ism. “They feel that their is­land is un­der threat. I agree, it is ab­so­lutely un­der threat. Over-de­vel­op­ment and glob­al­i­sa­tion are en­croach­ing on their way of life. They’ve had the is­land to them­selves for so long, and now they’re los­ing it.”

But he drew the line at hurt­ing chil­dren.

“It needs to be dealt with. It has steadily been get­ting worse. If Mau­ri­tius Tourism asks vis­i­tors to come surf beau­ti­ful Ta­marin Bay, then there’s ob­vi­ously some in­ter­nal con­flicts of in­ter­est that need to be ad­dressed.”

Kahn was clear that he was not against polic­ing the line-up when peo­ple put oth­ers in dan­ger, but this was out of hand.

He won’t let it rest, and wants it to serve as a tip­ping point. The prob­lem was that many peo­ple leave the is­land and don’t fol­low up.

“But I live here now, and I have a lot of sup­port from here. All kinds of sup­port. Of­ten it’s just peo­ple whose kids want to learn to surf or body­board in the shore­break. They don’t even al­low that!” he says.

He re­leased the video on Youtube to add im­pe­tus to the le­gal process on Mau­ri­tius, and it has cer­tainly done that, with huge in­ter­ac­tion. “We are es­ca­lat­ing this to the tourism au­thor­i­ties, and are try­ing to get them to take ac­tion. They’ve ig­nored it for so long. If its out there in the open, it is a lot more dif­fi­cult to sweep un­der the car­pet.”

Good luck guys. This must be stopped.

We get a taste of sum­mer to­day, not in tem­per­a­tures ex­actly, but with crank­ing 6-8’ surf on open coast vig­or­ously brushed back by crisp clean SE off­shores, with Muizen­berg rapidly dis­solv­ing into a messy on­shore as the south­easter picks up all day, strong in the af­ter­noon. To­mor­row, the surf holds at 4-6’ or more in lighter but still SE winds. Beach­breaks fire. Muizen­berg is still messy and on­shore and the fan­tas­tic run of surf there is put on hold by the weather.

WSL/CESTARI

MAK­ING AN IM­PRES­SION: South Africa’s Bianca Bui­tendag looked good go­ing into the semi­fi­nals of the Corona Open JBay in pump­ing surf, but she was de­feated by Lakey Peter­son of the USA.

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