Originally Published by Lisa Herbertson, Daily Telegraph. April 28 2016.
WELL may you say you can’t beat a Sydney beach on a hot summer’s day but many Sydneysiders will be flocking to a giant wave park just 30 minutes from the city to swim without fear of sharks, jellyfish or dangerous rips in 2018.
Sports Minister Stuart Ayres has announced an estimated $26.5 million wave pool for the current car park known as P5 at Sydney Olympic Park, just a week after a new surf park was announced in Melbourne.
“Forget about Bondi or Manly, you can come straight here to Sydney Olympic Park and get the best waves you’ll find anywhere,” NSW Sports Minister Stuart Ayres said.
“The UrbnSurf Park is a massive vote of confidence in the future of western Sydney tourism.
“Sydney Olympic Park is a thriving business, entertainment and sporting precinct.
“It’s already a hive of activity, from the skate parks to mountain cross; we can now throw surfing into the mix.”
Perth-based Wave Park Group has confirmed that it has been nominated as the preferred proponent over a 3.2ha site located at Sydney Olympic Park.
Australia has already produced some of the world’s best surfers, and with a campaign for surfing to be included at the 2020 Olympics, the opportunities to surf in Australia are really taking off.
The park will create artificial waves ranging between 1.7 and 0.6 metres high, allowing all levels of surfers to practice and enjoy their sport, without having to travel to the beach.
The surfing lagoon will feature Wavegarden wave generating technology which will deliver authentic surfing waves, offering high quality surfing experiences for beginners through to experts.
“The best part about the Wavegarden technology is that it can cater for everyone across a range of surfing abilities — from those just learning, right through to elite athletes and their high performance training needs,” Wave Park Group Founder and Executive Chairman Andrew Ross said.
“Waves will range from up to 1.7m high, pitching waves, that are designed for the highest levels of performance surfing, down to 0.6m high, rolling white-water waves, which are ideal for beginner surfers.
“Waves will form cleanly and break with constant power and shape throughout the ride, which will be the equivalent to riding high-quality, ocean-based waves of similar sizes.
“Sydney’s 200,000 plus surfers will have another option available to them, day and night, year round, within a short distance of the Sydney CBD.”
The facility will feature sustainable design, renewable energy and water saving systems, in keeping with Sydney Olympic Park’s strong environmental sustainability ethos.
“Sydney is blessed with a number of great surfing beaches, but access to those beaches and overcrowding in the line-up is becoming an increasing issue,” Mr Ross said.
“UrbnSurf Sydney will bring the beach to your backyard, unlocking the geographic limitations of ocean based surfing.
“Through the development of urban surfing environments, we are providing the opportunity for surfers to engage with their sport more frequently, more conveniently, and more safely — allowing them to simply ‘surf more’”.
Detailed feasibility studies are now underway, with a development application expected to be submitted towards the end of 2016.
Following receipt of development approval, construction activities are likely to commence in mid-2017, with the expectation that first riders will take to the waves at UrbnSurf Sydney in mid to late 2018.