FUTURE: What will become of Cabarete?

Published on June 24th, 2013

The sailing conditions of Cabarete, Dominican Republic are hard to beat. Consistent winds, warm air and water temperatures, and tropical surrounding has built the region’s reputation as a watersports mecca.

Among the local businesses is the Laser Training Center in Cabarette, where owner Ari Barshi provides the tools needed for newbies to improve, but also for nearly two dozen sailors to compete in 2012 Olympics.

However, Ari is concerned about the future of Cabarete. As a representative for the Federation for a Sustainable Cabarete, here he explains…

Cabarete is a small village in the North coast of the Dominican Republic, with a sustainable economy based on windsurfing and kiteboarding. The extreme conditions of wind and waves have brought many Lasers sailors to Cabarete in recent years as well.

Opportunists wishing to benefit from Cabarete’s special vibe began building apartment (condos) along the beach for quick financial gains. Naturally these buildings affected the wind flow, creating turbulences that limiting launching of windsurfers and kiteboarders.

To ensure the wind flow, and keep sailors coming to Cabarete for years after years, in 2009 President Leonel Fernandez, based on the recommendations of experts from the ministry of tourism, published a decree limiting construction height. The decree included a setback of 130 yards from the shore line for two floor buildings, with some areas allowing for three floors with an additional setback. It was a great vision to secure wind-sports that need wind right on the beach to launch.

But, the opportunists with their cash are at it again, trying to get the newly elected president, Danilo Medina, to cancel or override Cabarete’s zoning heights.

The kiteboarding and Windsurfing community in Cabarete have been asked by the authorities to show evidence that on-shore or side-shore winds, hitting a “wall of buildings” will create turbulence on the windward side of the building, thus impacting launching on the beach. This is where we asking the Scuttlebutt community for help.

What we need is anyone who has video clips, wind tunnel video or photos, or any idea, that can help us convince people who never sailed in their life, that kiteboarders and windsurfers depend on the wind flow to be able to launch.

In other words what we need to demonstrate is …
If many buildings are built even at a distance of 300m from the beach, essentially forming a wall to the wind, the wind would not be able to flow around them and would have to go over them. This would have the effect of reducing the wind speed much further upstream (the direction the wind comes from) and this distance would be a function of the height of the buildings.

Please send information to savecabarete@gmail.com

Thank you in advance on behalf of kiteboarders and windsurfers from around the world.

Federation for a Sustainable Cabarete:  TwitterFacebook

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