Windsurfers have been given the go-ahead to use Cardiff's freshwater Bay from August.

The move is a significant development in the expansion of the Bay's water use strategy, which aims to open up the 200-hectare lake for a range of sport and recreational activity.

Sailing and boating are already popular and the Water Activities Centre now being built at Channel View will provide further opportunities with expert tuition in rowing and canoeing.

The Bay has already played host to a national universities windsurfing competition for the past two years - part of a series of trials with governing bodies of water sports. Organisers of the two-day event have described the Bay as a "world class" location.

Michael Davies, Cardiff Harbour Authority's Leisure Manager, said: "Cardiff Bay is a first-class non-tidal location on the city's doorstep. It is convenient and accessible. Anyone with at least a season's experience and is competent with a harness will be able to use the Bay, and we propose to widen accessibility to less-experienced windsurfers as soon as practicable."

Windsurfing will be launched from the Barrage on 7 August. Temporary toilets and showers will be provided pending the opening, later this year, of the water activities centre.

Scott Harrison, of Cardiff windsurfing specialist Rat Rigs, who took part in earlier trials on the Bay, said: "I am really excited about it and I can't wait for it to go live. It is a huge boost for the sport. Experienced windsurfers will use the Bay when wind conditions preclude the use of most of our beaches, and intermediates will be able to get the key skills they need."

For more information about Bay windsurfing, contact Ben Longhurst at the Harbour Authority, 029 2087 7954 (