Hang 10, Blokes: UK Beach to Make Waves

Artificial reef expected to generate 13-footers, draw surfers
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 10, 2008 3:50 PM CST
Tropical fish swim around the coral formations on an artificial reef project in Bali, Indonesia. The Bournemouth reef is meant to draw surfers, not fish.   (AP Photo/Wolf Hilbertz)
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(Newser) – A British beach town hopes to become the UK’s Surf City after the completion of an artificial reef that will boost local waves, Der Spiegel reports. Bournemouth has long attracted vacationers to its shore, but the gently lapping waves haven’t been enough of a draw for surfers. Projected 13-foot swells should change all that, though.

The reef, slated for completion next fall, will be built out of environmentally friendly sandbags upon a soccer-field-sized mat already anchored to the seafloor. It will be Europe’s first such installation, and the fourth in the world, after other similar projects in Australia and New Zealand. Officials hope it will draw about 10,000 surfers per year.