While we wait for a British Wavegarden v2 (known as the Cove, as opposed to the v1 at Snowdonia, which is doing rather well for itself) to give a definite dig date the Aussies have beat us to it with a site near Melbourne. The build starts next month aiming to be open a year later. Main takeaway is it’s way bigger than the test facility in the Basque hills and has two sides. Question now is will people play nice and form an orderly queue?!?
URBNSURF, the company behind Australia’s first surf park and the Australian licensee of Wavegarden technology, yesterday announced it has recently secured $28.3 million in funding to develop URBNSURF Melbourne at Melbourne Airport, the world’s first full-sized Wavegarden Cove surfing lagoon.
With planning consent already obtained, and construction scheduled to commence in March 2018, URBNSURF Melbourne expects to be pumping out up to 1,000 quality, 2.0m high ocean-like surfing waves every hour by Easter 2019.
Located just 16 kilometers north of Melbourne’s CBD, URBNSURF Melbourne has been designed to be an innovative surf sports, leisure and entertainment facility centered around a world-class surfing lagoon. At 2.1 hectares in area, the Wavegarden Cove surfing lagoon will host up to 90 surfers per hour across 6 different surfing zones.
The next-generation surf facility will deliver authentic, safe and convenient surfing experiences for all skill levels, year-round. With a modular, minimalist design in keeping with surfing’s roots, URBNSURF Melbourne will also feature a multi-outlet food and bar precinct, concept retail store, fully-equipped surf and hire shop, night surfing, a surfing academy, high performance coaching and training options, fitness classes, festival and event spaces, a beach club, and relaxing, landscaped open spaces.
URBNSURF’s founder and Executive Chairman, Andrew Ross said “we are delighted to be bringing the southern hemisphere’s first surf park facility to Melbourne, the traditional home of Australian sport. Melbourne’s 200,000 or so existing surfers, plus all of those who want to give surfing a go, will now be able to enjoy high quality surf, year-round, and all within a 25-minute drive of the Melbourne CBD.”
He added, “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, more conveniently, and more safely – allowing them to simply ‘surf more’”.
$28.3 million in development capital was recently secured by URBNSURF from a range of Australian-based, well-known high net worth investors and private-equity sources. These funds will fuel the company’s construction activities in Melbourne together with activities associated with its other two surf park projects in Sydney and Perth.
The Cove is a revolutionary technology created by Wavegarden, an innovative Spanish engineering company and market leader in the man-made wave sector. Two commercial surf park facilities featuring Wavegarden lagoons are already operational around the world – in North Wales and in Austin, Texas – both of which have attracted keen tourism interest, regional investment and high guest attendances. URBNSURF Melbourne will be the first commercial surf park in the world to feature the Wavegarden Cove technology, which occupies a smaller footprint than Wavegarden’s earlier technology, but delivers increased wave frequency – up to 1,000 per hour – and expanded guest capacity.
“We are excited to be working with URBNSURF to bring the world’s first public Wavegarden Cove to Victoria, and create Melbourne’s first surf break” said Josema Odriozola, Wavegarden’s Founder and CEO. “Australia has a large population of active surfers, plus many people that would like to learn to surf and we’re confident our technology will satisfy everyone’s expectations and demands.
We look forward to collaborating on URBNSURF’s other planned developments in Sydney and Perth.”
In addition to the incredible surfing experiences on offer in the Wavegarden Cove lagoon, URBNSURF Melbourne will regularly host a variety of cultural, food and music festivals, action sports events, “expression sessions” with elite athletes, and amateur and professional surfing competitions. With surfing now confirmed as an Olympic sport for the 2020 Tokyo Games, URBNSURF Melbourne is uniquely positioned to assist the Australian surfing team to train and prepare for their campaign.
The development of URBNSURF Melbourne is expected to generate over 300 jobs during the construction phase, and another 50 full time positions will be created once the facility opens its doors. Accessible by 2 million Melbourne residents in under 30 minutes, URBNSURF Melbourne is expected to inject more than $267 million in gross economic contribution to the Melbourne region over the life of the project.
URBNSURF is currently developing surf park facilities using Wavegarden’s Cove technology at Sydney Olympic Park (“URBNSURF Sydney”), and in Perth at Tompkins Park, Alfred Cove (“URBNSURF Perth”), and aims to develop up to ten world-class surf parks in Australia by 2028.