Several truckloads of soft dune sand are to be temporarily spread on Oriental Bay Beach from today to make life less abrasive for competitors in the International Beach Volleyball event on Saturday 12 and Sunday 13 January.
Relatively coarse sand was used when Oriental Bay was redeveloped in 2003 so that it would not be picked up and blown about by strong winds. However the sand has proved hard on the skin of competitors at previous beach volleyball events – so it will be temporarily covered with a layer of finer sand.
Wellington City Council Events Manager John Dawson says when competitors dive for the ball the existing sand can act "a bit like sandpaper – it's not pleasant".
The dune sand will be trucked in by contractors and placed by front-end loader. John says the work will be programmed to fit in with tide movements and to ensure the least possible disruption to beach users.
The International Beach Volleyball finals will be televised live on TV2 on Sunday 13 January.
Oriental Bay Beach