With surfing in the Olympics a little over three years away, Australia is flexing its surfing muscle and financial might by pumping millions into three national wavepools to help guarantee their Olympic gold medal success.
Sydney, Melbourne and Perth have been earmarked as sites for the three wavepools based on a Spanish design called The Cove which have been personally selected by Australia’s national surf coach Andy King.
King tested the Spanish designed Cove in October with World Tour surfers Josh Kerr, Julian Wilson and Ryan Callighan and now wants to install the wavepools to train the entire Olympic surf team.
“They have finally replicated something that’s got similar power to the ocean with the unpredictability of the ocean,” King said in The Australian.
The other thing that replicates the ocean very well is the f*cking ocean
“You can get the repetition and practice that you need for training in a really short amount of time without the surfers turning kind of robotic – you get training done in three or four days that would take you three or four months in the ocean,” he added.
According to the article The Cove design is said to create 1029 waves per hour up to 2.1m (6.8ft) high with an average ride length of 18 seconds.
With such Olympic investment being unthinkable in the UK it will come as little surprise to see the Aussies dominating the sport in its inaugural year, perhaps the only country to challenge is rumoured to be the little known surfing state of China as they too reportedly throw financial muscle behind gold.
As one commentator humorously noted on Stab “The other thing that replicates the ocean very well is the f*cking ocean.” We are definitely inclined to agree, but we have no doubt there will be little surprise when Australia are one of the the nations that monopolise the new Olympic discipline.
With the UK currently leading the way for wavepool installations let us hope when the time comes Team GB get all the backing necessary from Surf Snowdonia and the Olympic committee.
Lead image: The proposed Urbn Surf park in Perth