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Wave Garden Set to Make a Big Splash in Melbourne


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Wave Garden Set to Make a Splash in Melbourne 

By Easter next year, surfers will be riding two metre waves at Melbourne airport. No it is not an environmental catastrophe, but rather the development of the world’s first full sized wave garden by URBNSURF.

Construction is underway now to create the massive 2.1 hectare surf sports , leisure and entertainment facility adjacent to the Essendon Football club on Airport Drive. The massive complex will be comparable in size to the MCG, and will host 84 surfers across six different surfing zones and pump out 1,000 waves per hour.

URBNSURF’s Executive Chairman and founder, Andrew Ross said: “URBNSURF Melbourne unlocks the geographic limitations of surfing by bringing the beach to your backyard. We are aiming to provide surfers of all abilities the opportunity to engage in their sport more frequently, conveniently and safely - allowing them to surf more.”

URBNSURF secured $28.3 million in capital to build the company’s Wave Gardens in Melbourne, Sydney and Perth.

In Sydney, Construction is set to commence at Olympic Park in Homebush midway through 2018. 

With a north-south lagoon orientation, URBNSURF Sydney has been designed to suit prevailing wind conditions. LED lagoon lighting means you can surf night and day. The facility will also feature sustainable design elements, renewable energy and water saving systems, in keeping with Sydney Olympic Park’s strong environmental sustainability ethos.

The wave gardens have been designed to use the latest version of the world’s leading wave generating technology, Wavegarden®, and will deliver high quality, authentic surfing waves to suit all abilities.

In Perth, the wave park will be only 9 kilometres south of Perth’s CBD, adjacent to the Swan River at Tompkins Park. The area  is a 22 hectare sports precinct within the City of Melville featuring expansive cycle-ways, engaging natural environment, and large, open spaces catering to a range of active recreational uses. Perth’s Wave Garden is expected to commence construction in late 2018.  

Waves in the lagoon are generated by moving water over a shallow profile that causes a wave to form, and then fold on itself – just like an ocean swell becomes a breaking wave when it moves over a reef or a sand bar. In the case of the Wavegarden ‘Cove’, water is moved by a mechanical device located along the central axis of the lagoon. The device displaces more than 30 tonnes of water, and gets it moving at over 6 metres per second to create a perfectly formed surfing wave.

URBNSURF will incorporate a combination of LEED engineering, sustainable design, water catchment systems, photovoltaic systems, recycling/re-use of materials and local sourcing to help minimise any environmental impacts. An example is the decision to use recycled, high density polyethylene plastic (HDPE) as the liner for the lagoon rather than a concrete shell. 

The company claims that wave parks will use only about 6 percent of the water used to irrigate a golf course per annum. The net evaporation rate for the lagoon will differ from region to region, but on average the annual water requirement is equivalent to that used to maintain a high quality turf sports oval of a similar size.

The Wavegarden ‘Cove’ wave generator is considered to be the most energy efficient surfing wave generator and the surf parks will use about the same amount of energy per annum as would a small, indoor aquatic centre. The parks intend to self generate 100 percent of the energy required through renewable sources, such as solar PV panels and wind power generation systems.

Landscaping will be closely aligned with a natural beach environment using soft landscaping, tree planting and natural materials.

An advanced version of the wave generation system, “the Cove”, measuring just 50m x 80m, has been generating waves non-stop at Wavegarden’s R&D facility in Spain since October 2016. The result of years of computational fluid dynamics research, the Cove’s patented bathymetry creates multiple surf areas and allows currents to circulate without impacting the quality of subsequent waves (similar to a rip bowl). The machinery is modular, and avoids complicated hydraulic or pneumatic systems in favour of a smart and robust electro-mechanical design. Consequently, very little energy is lost in the transmission of forces, minimising running costs and making the technology the most energy-efficient in market.

The wave parks are estimated to create around 300 new jobs in the construction phase and around 50 ongoing jobs in each location once operational.

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