ANOTHER bumper crowd is expected for the second Boscombe surf festival – but the reef is again likely to play only a minor part.

Last year’s event attracted more than 5,000 people over two days and this year’s competition will be held over March 19 and 20.

However, the surf reef is again earmarked for the body-boarding competition, while the three surfing events are likely to be held by the pier.

The final arrangements and timings will depend on the weather.

Shaun Taylor, from the organiser Sorted Surf Shop, declined to comment on the performance on the £3.6m reef.

The reef opened in November 2009 and it was supposed to create a sandbar to improve surfing conditions over time.

Bosombe councillor Michael Everingham said: “Irrespective of what they say or do, I don’t think it will ever work properly now.”

The contractor ASR is due to return at some point in the spring to carry out remedial work.

A Plymouth University study released last May said the reef was only meeting four out of 11 performance targets.

The reef produces a steep-sided wave and it needs very particular conditions to work at its best.

Mr Taylor said last year’s surf festival attracted a split of local and national surfers and the overall prize went to Gordon Fontaine from France.

The four surfing categories will each have 32 entrants on a first come, first served basis.

They are: Men’s Open, Bodyboards, Juniors and Stand Up Paddleboard.

Competition starts from around 8am and the on-shore attractions will be open from 9am to 5pm.

There will be stalls, give-aways, watersport displays, free demo equipment and advice from surf industry leaders.

On Saturday there is a party hosted by Urban Beach starting at 7.30pm that is open to anyone.

Mark Smith, Bournemouth’s head of tourism, said: “We would encourage people to take a visit down to the seafront to join in the activities or simply sit back and soak up the bustling atmosphere that is expected down at Boscombe beach.”