4th April 2017
Dear Wave followers, we have extremely exciting news! We aren’t able to give you too much detail quite yet but here’s your first look at Wavegarden Cove, a new generation surf facility capable of delivering 1,000 ocean-like waves per hour. More details will be released in the next few weeks. We at The Wave HQ are taking a very well earned break with our families, then we will be back with the full story of why we have have been so busy and what to expect next!
"A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor" – Franklin Roosevelt
The Wave Bristol…
Is it still happening?
When can I surf it?
Have you started digging yet?
Where are the updates?
These are just some of the many questions I get asked on regular basis (most often by my kids), and rightly so.
This has literally (Boxing Day) been the first chance I have had to properly reflect on the last 12 months and start to put a finger to keyboard (I'm not a fast typist) and update our eager followers and investors on the state of play. The cliché "no news is good news" is certainly the case, thankfully.
I was at the opening of the Bristol Finisterre shop a couple of months ago and a friend said "what's happening, why have we heard nothing" and the truth is that I've been so in the thick of fundraising, locked in and focused, that I have not been great at keeping our avid supporters up to date. I always want to bring the amazing and positive news, not the twists and turns of a really complicated financial and legal process. "But that's exactly what we want to hear, we're with you on the journey, we're rooting for you" she said…
I hear you loud and clear…
Earlier this year I/we explained to everyone that we were out in the investment market raising the construction finance to build The Wave in Bristol. We have spoken to almost 200 investors this year (I can almost pitch in my sleep!) and barely a single potential investor has failed to see how exciting and captivating The Wave will be as a business, an investment and a legacy. Brexit and the American election have played a huge part in this years' discussions with investors and many were "on hold" until a clear result was seen from both of these important world events. Brexit happened and like many people and businesses, we took a hit at this time. The Brexit vote saw our costs for construction rise by over £1.2million in currency shift alone, and it created a degree of uncertainty in the investment market… for a while at least.
However, we have weathered that storm and the sun and a well groomed swell is upon us.
At the end of the summer we were made an offer for one third of the construction cost by a large investment fund. This was a really exciting moment for us and it began a momentum, which has not stopped. One month ago, a significant investment fund pledged to stand beside us to see The Wave in Bristol built. This sounds very simple when recounting it in this way, however we have worked days, nights, weekends, tirelessly to get to this position. I am eternally grateful for the team's graft, wisdom and relentless drive to support me and the vision (especially you Craig). I must also thank my family for putting up with a very absent husband and dad.
Rest up team, we have a busy 2017 ahead of us!
Other key events this year that I have been involved in and have been pivotal;
• Surfing announced as an Olympic Sport for Tokyo 2020.
• Surf Park Summit 2 in Orlando. Huge excitement for this industry about to explode.
• Surf Expo 2016 in USA.
• Surfing GB and English Surfing Federation announce a merger.
• Supporting the GB Team in the World Adaptive Games in California. Chris Jones, Spike Kane, Pegleg Bennett and Martin Pollock. Utterly inspiring trip and further instilled in me the need to support our adaptive athletes and how transformational our facility will be to inspire, train and professionalise surfing for surfers and adaptive surfers alike. Read more here: ARTICLE
So, next steps. We have a number of critical paths to navigate in the first 10-12 weeks of 2017 which will pave the way to starting work on site and eventually pushing waves. There will be a key update in February/March which you need to look out for and I will of course endeavour to keep people updated via our website (please do check the News page).
So in answer to those questions:
We have funders backing us
We should be pushing waves in 2017 and open to public 2018
So that's our news for now, please stay close to our daily news on social media, things tend to drop there first. For those who don't use it, a quarterly newsletter will continue with other big updates as they occur.
Nick and The Wave Team