Long awaited UK surf reef 'ready in months'

Long awaited UK surf reef 'ready in months'

The deadline for Europe’s first artificial surf reef along the South Coast was announced today.

The reef in Boscombe, Dorset, is expected to be finished by the end of October depending on the weather.

Bournemouth Borough Council has signed a deal with New Zealand-based ASR Ltd to construct the reef by December 31 at the latest.

Council leader Stephen MacLoughlin said: “The deal has been done to bring the long-awaited surf reef to Boscombe to revive the area.

“It will be the most innovative sports and tourist attraction in the South.

“The public can be assured that the reef will definitely be completed at the latest by the end of this year.

“ASR Ltd had previously been commissioned as designers of the reef and will now use their expert knowledge in this highly complex marine construction project to achieve the performance requirements specified by the council.”

The council has placed the £500,000 (€633,000) order for enough specialist bags and webbing base to cover a football pitch.

They will be submerged 225 metres out to sea, east of Boscombe Pier in Dorset, to create the reef.

The first of three deliveries, which will include the webbing base and first section of the bottom layer of bags, is due to arrive in Southampton Docks, Hants, in late June.

The bags will be assembled onto the webbing base at an unspecified harbour-side location in Dorset before being deployed by specially trained Scuba divers.

New Zealand-based Dr Kerry Black, who runs ASR Ltd, designed the reef after travelling the entire Pacific Rim to measure 44 of the world’s best surf breaks.

The webbing base and 55 geo-textile bags, from 15 metres to 70 metres long, mimic the effects of a natural reef acting as a ramp, pushing waves upwards, doubling their size and shaping them into good-quality surfing waves.

It is expected to double the size of the existing surf and double the number of good surfing days in Boscombe.

The reef will provide a ride of up to 75 metres to the right, with two shorter left-hand rides and provide a grade five wave on a day with good swell which is in the challenging range. This compares to the Hawaii Pipeline which is a grade eight.

The reef in Boscombe will be one of four artificial reefs worldwide including Narrowneck, Queensland, Cables, Western Australia and Mt Maunganui, New Zealand.

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