Windsurf safety plans


WAW members Lachlan Lidbury, Phil Cutter and Tim Crommelin want the safety of their sport to be considered.
Windsurf safety plans
WAW members Lachlan Lidbury, Phil Cutter and Tim Crommelin want the safety of their sport to be considered.

The changes aim to tackle potential dangers created by kite surfing at Telephone Box, near Deane Street, Cottesloe.

“Our biggest concern is additional restrictions on all water sports because of the high risk and incidents caused specifically by kite surfing,” WA Windsurfing (WAW) member Tim Crommelin said.

Windsurfing at Dutch Inn, 400m south of Telephone Box, started in the late 1970s but kite surfing with inflatable kites on 23m-long lines is relatively new.

In 2013, a freak accident killed kite surfer Marc Sprod at Telephone Box.

Cottesloe Council’s proposed changes to local laws was prompted by a resident’s incorrect complaint in October last year that a “kiter’s sail” hit her cousin at Dutch Inn playground, but it was later found that it was in fact a windsurfer’s sail.

It is proposed to ban the launching and landing of kite surfing equipment and windsurfing at Telephone Box and giving kiting a new, official beach between the adjacent Rosendo and Princes streets.

Windsurfers would get 100m of beach to the Dutch Inn groyne and an adjacent playground’s toy fort would be moved to protect the public.

Mr Crommelin said windsurfers had used grass near the playground to rig for at least 35 years and they supported its relocation and kite surfers getting new parking bays and a proposed new shower.

After WAW met council staff last week, Mr Crommelin said the proposed new law may be reworded to reflect the different safety risks of windsurfing and kite surfing, and take on board windsurfers’ concerns about being “squeezed” into Dutch Inn.

“The two sports’ safety profiles are quite different when windsurfers’ equipment can only reach about 4m, but kites have long lines,” WAW member Lachlan Lidbury said.

Cottesloe chief executive Mat Humfrey said proposals were still out for public comment and windsurfers’ issues could be considered in submissions.

The proposal is at www.cottesloe.wa.gov.au and submissions can be sent to council@cottesloe.wa.gov.au until March 7.