The Quiksilver Pro New York surfing competition will proceed as planned, promoters announced Monday. And they assured the hurricane was factored into that initial planning.
In the wake of Hurricane Irene, the event's organizers spent Monday surveying the site in Long Beach that will host the action sports tournament and a music festival beginning Sept. 1. Quiksilver, on the instruction of town officials, had removed the event structures before Tropical Storm Irene's arrival. They incurred no loss or damages, organizers said, and as of Monday, they had plans to put the structures back in place.
"Surfing events have always required daily flexibility," Quiksilver spokesman Luke Watson said. "While Irene posed a larger than normal challenge, it was still well within the realm of what we prepare for when staging professional surfing events."
Organizers scheduled the event for the upcoming weeks precisely because it was hurricane season, Watson said. The whipping winds and high tide provide "the greatest potential for good surf."
The surfing competition can be completed in as few as three days, according to Watson, and the event, which has an end date of Sept. 15, allows them a holding period with which to "negotiate the elements of nature."
The Quiksilver Pro New York is the first Association of Surfing Professionals competition to be hosted on the East Coast. It features 34 of the world's top-ranked surfers, including Balaram Stack, 19, of Long Beach, and ASP's largest ever prize purse ($1,000,000). The pro surfers are at a tournament in Tahiti and weren't scheduled to compete in Long Beach until Sept. 4, according to promoters.
The first three days of the holding period (Sept. 1-3) were designated for a local trials competition with the winner earning a wild card entry to the main event.
"We definitely have the ability to take a little extra time on the front end to assess conditions and rebuild the site when the city deems it is safe to do so," Watson said.