Artificial reef debate at Coffs Harbour

As moves are made to reinforce Coffs Harbour’s breakwalls following the latest storm damage, the concept of an artificial reef to protect the marina from damage continues to gain momentum.

The concept is one alternative being considered by government departments dedicated to ensuring Coffs Harbour remains the only all-weather harbour between Port Stephens and the Tweed.

The option, revealed by the Department of Lands at a Coffs Harbour Chamber of Commerce breakfast in 2009, has captured the attention of surfers, who hope the installation would also generate a man-made surf break.

See Matt Deans

Diggers Point project

Back in 1997 there was a proposal to make a classic left hand point break on the headland north of Freshwater beach in Sydney (Australia).

We want people to add sites here that have the history of this project.
Let’s all learn by the experience, even breathe some life into it.

Surfing Ramps have taken down their page on the Harbord project 1997.
See their current Hot Topics page:
and another link from them:
20th NSW Coastal Conference 8 – 11 Nov 2011 Tweed Heads NSW

Surfers big break – Cottesloe

Making waves to give surfers big break

The urban surfer’s endless summer is generally marked not so much by idyllic tubes and pristine beaches but by frustrating half-decent waves and overcrowded surf breaks.

For many city-dwellers, finding consistently good waves close to home is just a pipedream.

But now, after a decade of laboratory research, West Australian surfers are on the crest of a breakthrough as work begins on the world’s first artificial surfing, reef.

Underwater construction teams begin this week placing 8,000 tonnes of granite on top of an existing limestone reef, 300 metres off Cottesloe Beach in Perth.

When completed, this $1.8 million boomerang-shaped rock shelf should provide enough resistance to turn a normal swell into good surfing waves around 70 days a year.

Cottesloe only breaks about eight days each year because the reef is five metres down. The highest point of the new 120-metre-long granite reef will be one metre from the surface.

WA surfing patriarch Mr. Tom Blaxell said the reef would be a boon for the State’s estimated 220,000 surfers who battle for space at Perth’s most popular surfing beaches, Trigg and Scarborough.

A consultant to the Ministry of Sport and Recreation, Mr Cameron O’Beirne, said: “It is not a magical wave-making machine but if the swell is there it will enhance it and throw up a better wave.”
Reproduced from Sydney Morning Herald – 20 Feb 1999

Make waves not war

from Surf Magazine article by Bob McTavish (1967)..

..surfing research and development. A group of surfing minds. A headland that receives good swell and favourable winds.

Let’s try the north side of Long Reef, Sydney, a half mile of coast around a rock bottomed pair of coves, the whole place takes any south quarter-wind, cops any swell at all, and has a lousy bottom shape. Really central. Conditions are excellent three to five days a week.

Accurate chart of the bottom, suggestions for wave shapes, models, testing tanks, research on cement and plastic combinations and varieties, methods of anchoring, and go to town.

A pipeline, an Ala Moana, a Malibu left, a Sunset walling into a Laaeakea, a Rincon, a Ti Tree, a right Pipeline, a few more imaginative breaks, some big and power(ful) some small. All varying with tides and swell sizes.

Southerly this morning? Off to the Reef. Wow! Only 200 guys out, only about ten each break.

Slip into wetsuit, grab wax, might just sit on nearby headland for a bit. and raise sensitivity to those waves, maybe get a rough plan figured on how to put together the session. Shape preferences, tide, frame – of mind…. Hit it.