Thanks again to Paul Quinn for another set of photographs, this time of the newly-installed wakeboarding system thingie in Grand Canal Dock, Dublin, which is to be opened on 9 March 2013.
Wakeboarding, as I understand it, involves dressing up in brightly coloured plastics, standing on a plank and being towed around behind a boat. I don’t myself see the appeal, being more the sedentary sort, but chacun a son gout, as the French don’t say, apparently, although why they’re supposed to know anything about it I don’t … but I digress. The wakeboarding system thingie seems to allow wakeboarding without a boat; it might also require less sea room.
A system was installed temporarily last year; there is information about it here. I don’t know whether that is the same system as has now been installed. You can read the environmental report here [PDF]. Waterways Ireland tells me that
Waterways Ireland has entered into a three year commercial operating licence agreement with Colin Harris T/A Wakedock Ltd., to place and operate a mobile wakeboarding system in Grand Canal Dock.
There seems to be an association between Wakedock and the Surfdock business in the Naomh Éanna, although Wakedock also has its own website.
I asked Waterways Ireland how much it was earning from this; it refused to tell me:
Waterways Ireland do not release license fees charged to individual commercial licence holders as this would be detrimental to our business interest in future license fee valuations.
Waterways Ireland tells me that:
When agreeing the location, consideration was given to maintaining access to the pump-out on Hanover Quay and also access to vessels wishing to enter via the lock gates. No detrimental impact on navigation for other users is anticipated.
WI kindly provided this map.
Semper aliquid novi Africam adferre, as my old grandmother used to say.
* see The Third Policeman
Many thanks for your interest in this exciting development which will bring a whole new level of attraction to this vibrant part of Dublin which was so neglected for so many years. Thanks also to Waterways Ireland for appreciating the resulting benefits for those who would like to enjoy themselves on the water in the City centre. Its Tourism potential is also significant. Germany already has something in the order of 400 such sites in operation today. The International Olympic Committee has also short-listed Cable Wakeboard for possible inclusion in the 2020 Games and who knows, we may see future Olympic Medals earned from training at this Grand Canal Dock site ! One of the IOC’s interests in this low cost youth focussed sport is that it is totally environment friendly and fits in perfectly to down-town population areas around the world. Egypt was the latest to join this global development this month ! At least two more will open here at home this year.
We wish brave Colin Harris / WakeDock every success with this healthy adventure which should help to encourage a lot of young and not so young Wakeboarders to stay in Dublin and enjoy a wonderful new activity here on our doorstep. Hopefully, surrounding businesses will also benefit from this increased foot-fall as soon as the sun decides to return once again !
That was from the Irish Waterski and Wakeboard Federation, whose website is here.
There might be enough room in Limerick Dock for one of these systems, if the scrap merchants could be moved to Foynes.