World’s first artificial surf reef only week’s away

Nicole SalmeriSouth Western Times
Airwave founder Troy Bottegal and Bunbury cheif executive are etching closer to the arrival of the world’s first surf reef to be installed at Bunbury's back beach.
Camera IconAirwave founder Troy Bottegal and Bunbury cheif executive are etching closer to the arrival of the world’s first surf reef to be installed at Bunbury's back beach. Credit: Nicole Salmeri

Bunbury is soon to be home to a world first artificial surf reef with the installation now only weeks away.

Airwave founder Troy Bottegal said he did not have a specific date the structure would arrive but he was excited to get the trial under way.

“It’s weather dependent, we have to make sure the sand, which is still in a winter pattern, has to flatten off a little bit and the lesser tides and the lesser swell will make that sand nice and smooth out there where we plan to put it,” Mr Bottegal said.

“The idea happened about 10 years ago and it occurred as a bit of a drawing and in the process of living a life and having other businesses and raising a family the drawing turned into a rubber dome which we are going to put out in the ocean in about three weeks.

“It is really difficult to put an artificial surf reef in the water anywhere in the world, everyone wants one but it is difficult to get it past the ecological factor.

“Bunbury put their hand up and they have shown a lot of innovation and a lot courage, they are the only council in the world that put their hand up basically.”

City of Bunbury chief executive Mal Osborne said the council had full confidence the reef would be a success.

“The city has allocated an amount towards promotion and we saw the value and how to promote Bunbury and we are rapt that Troy has chosen to make the installation in Bunbury,” Mr Osborne said

“I think the story line behind this is innovation and the story line behind how this can change Bunbury and those two things together have given the council and certainly the staff, the confidence to progress and support this to the level we have supported it.

“If that means that other businesses ride on the success of this I’m talking about hospitality, accommodation, surf shops and retail, then that is also great for Bunbury’s business sector.”

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