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Soon: Full-sized proto of Occy’s pool!

Derek Rielly

by Derek Rielly

Hole dug for full-sized prototype of Occy's tank at secret Queensland location!

Back in May, the former world champion Mark Occhilupo was revealed as the ambassador for yet another wavepool company, this one called Surf Lakes.

(Read that here.)

And, yesterday, Barton Lynch, the world champ and noted commentator and coach, was also wheeled out to spruik Surf Lakes, a company created by the Queensland mining engineer Aaron Trevis.

Travis’ eureka moment came when he was skimming rocks in a lake with his kids. Noticing the little waves the rocks caused, he wondered if he could make it happen on a bigger scale.

Like the rest, Surf Lakes promises the world: “Revolutionary”, “closely mimics natural ocean waves”, “lowest energy cost per wave”, “2400 waves an hour.”

According to the company’s PR release in May, a proof-of-concept prototype had been built in an outer Melbourne suburb and, somewhere in Queensland, shovels were out for the full-sized version with a late 2017 opening.

Now, what happens when these sorta stories come out is that we, the media, jump on the story, rewrite the press release, collect our clicks and our social spikes, and move on.

I figured, given its imminent unveiling, a little call might be order.

As it happens, the media guy is a former Tracks editor called Wayne Dart. He says the hole, which is 350 metres long by 250 metres wide, has been dug, but won’t, can’t, say where it is in Queensland ’cause, already, locals have been sniffing around, peering over the fence and so on.

The way the pool works, he says, is there’s a peak setup on each edge, where a circular swell creates four peaks or eight waves at once. A wave every six seconds.

When you see the prototype down in Melbourne, it actually makes sense, as opposed to pushing huge volumes of water with Thomas the Tank Engine. Commercially, this actually makes sense. His, and Wavegarden, is a huge boat wash, essentially. Ours replicates a mini-tsunami.”

“Kelly’s wave is longer and probably a better wave over the distance but ours will be shorter and punchier and there’ll be more of ’em,” says Dart. “Occ and I sat at the Snapper Rocks surf club and, our rides, which are twenty seconds, are the equivalent of Snapper Rocks through to Little Marley. When you see the prototype down in Melbourne, it actually makes sense, as opposed to pushing huge volumes of water with Thomas the Tank Engine. Commercially, this actually makes sense. His, and Wavegarden, is a huge boat wash, essentially. Ours replicates a mini-tsunami.”

He tells me we’ll get our first look in March 2018. Occ’s going to split the first peak with his kid Jay; Barton is on the second.

Will BL be bummed he’s not on the first peak?

“He only has to wait six seconds,” says Dart.

Neither of ’em are going to be the first to ride out, howevs.

“That’ll be the engineers,” he says.