Autor: Ana Carvalho Melo
The statue representing the surfer constitutes an “important symbol for the city and for the municipality”, stressed the Mayor of Ribeira Grande, also stating that the work symbolizes the surfer and Ribeira Grande as the capital of surfing, in an undertaking which also made it possible to requalify a degraded area.
Conceived by the artist Rui Goulart, born on the island of Pico and residing in the parish of Pico da Pedra, the statue, about 4.5 meters high, intends to “place the monument as the centerpiece of the roundabout and signal the municipality's prospect of development, taking into account the potential of sea sports and related activities”.
To Açoriano Oriental, Alexandre Gaudêncio recalled that, since his executive took office, one of its aims was to “turn the city to the sea”, which involves several objectives, among them the promotion of sea sports, in particular surfing, as provided for in the municipality's Strategic Tourism Plan.
Meanwhile, the brand 'Ribeira Grande, capital of Surf' has already been registered and several related events and infrastructures have been created.
The monument now opened involved an investment of 70 thousand euros, including the requalification of the roundabout on Avenida José Nunes da Ponte, the system of water jets sprouting from under the surfer's board simulating the waves and the renewing of the surrounding area.
“The idea was to create a city brand, especially for those who visit us; thus the monument is located in a strategic position, at the city's entrance, in an area that is being upgraded with several private investments”, stressed Gaudêncio.
The Mayor also revealed that there have been talks for Ribeira Grande to be part of the world surf circuit.
"There is the expectation that the municipality will be part of this list of competitions as early as next year", he revealed, emphasizing that this type of world event, which is broadcasted nationally and internationally, "might bring great visibility to Ribeira Grande outside the Region".
Connection to the WWTP awaits visa from the Court of Auditors
The Mayor of Ribeira Grande revealed that the work of connecting the city's waste water to the WWTP in Santana is awaiting a visa from the Court of Auditors to be consigned.
“This procedure, worth 2.2 million euros, has already been awarded and now awaits a visa from the Court of Auditors to proceed with its consignment”, revealed Gaudêncio, explaining that this project “will change the wastewater paradigm in the city and solve the problems in the Praia do Monte Verde area."
Alexandre Gaudêncio was then responding to the criticisms of the Socialist Party of Ribeira Grande, which, in a note sent to the media, defended that “the resolution of the sanitary issues of Monte Verde beach, which affect surfers and bathers in general, are more pressing than the statue of homage to the surfer”.
According to the party, decent showers and sanitary facilities should also be created in Praia do Monte Verde, so as to enhance the conditions for regular sports practice, as well as to reinforce safety conditions, namely by having lifeguard teams on site.