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Friday, 22 March 2019 05:52 am

New technology raises hopes for night surfing at Lyall Bay corner


NIGHT surfing at Lyall Bay may be closer to reality thanks to new technology.

The project has been on the radar for some time but better technology is making it more feasible, says Lyall Bay Board Riders spokesman Russel Millar.

“Ironically as time has gone on, costs have become less because of technology advancements,” said Mr Millar.

“We are now looking at lights that require far less power for greater output, so ongoing costs would be minimal.”

The proposed operation system would be somewhat like “textapark” where people pay for the power outage as they use the lights.

Mr Millar said momentum of the project comes in waves because of time constraints from the people involved.

“The work involved from our architect, who has been working for free on this, has been very busy and the club has been in a rebuild phase in a number of areas, but good things take time.”

The lights will be positioned at the corner, which is the surfers’ name for where the waves break against the rock wall next to the airport.

It is an area that includes a number of concerned parties, including Wellington Airport, the Civil Aviation Authority, the Kilbirnie, Lyall Bay Residents Association, Harbourmaster, Maritime Safety and Wellington City Council.

So far, all of them have supported the project, Mr Millar said.

“No opposition at all from any sectors. In fact the opposite.”

The six lights would be mounted in concrete “rocks” that would each hold 2 low voltage high output lamps, in order to have as little impact on the aesthetics of the coast as possible.

However, the Club has also looked at portable lights that could be set up as needed.

“In recent times however we have discussed the idea of actual portable units that literally plug into a generator and are set up as required. With the bulb technology we have, this is very feasible and could all run off a single small generator,” Mr Millar said.

He said the lights had been tested and they work well.

Council approval is the next step.

“The documentation is complete to present to council, and we just need some additional paperwork prepared and we can do our submission,” Millar said.

Wellington City Council spokesman Richard Mclean said the project has merit.

“We would definitely be interested in their proposal. The concerns would be Wellington Airport and the lights being on public land.”

SUN DOWN: night lights could extend this surfer’s time in the water at Lyall Bay.

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