Making Sense Of Surf Meets

Wednesday - October 07, 2009
By Donovan Dela Cruz
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Donovan Dela Cruz
City Council District 2

Surfing is an important economic engine for Hawaii, and surf contests have promoted the sport and the North Shore to a worldwide audience. The number of surf contests in the area, however, has raised some concerns and issues that promoters, residents and local surfers believe need to be addressed. Issues such as:

* Equal opportunity for women and keiki events, which are being denied or shortened;

* Lack of communication and late notices from city to promoters;

* Need for more advance notices and scheduling;


* Contestants need time to plan and schedule their travel plans;

* Need to work on conflict resolution - current system is not working;

* Diversification - body boarding, surfing, body surfing, etc.;

* Consider contest schedule be for two years instead of annually;

* Public use needs to be considered and assured;

* Should the city Department of Parks and Recreation only handle the process and not the selection or scheduling;

* Current methodology is flawed and needs to be corrected.

There is an ongoing dilemma on how to come up with a better way of selecting and scheduling North Shore surf contests. I met with then-Mayor Jeremy Harris’ administration and was promised that the problems would be addressed within the Department of Parks and Recreation. After waiting a year and seeing no progress, I introduced a resolution requesting the establishment of a blue-ribbon panel to review and discuss amendments to the Administrative Rules concerning shore water events at the North Shore.

Unfortunately, after many meetings, discussions and solid recommendations, the Harris administration left office without making any meaningful changes, and the work of the panel never came to fruition.

Every year thereafter, I’ve introduced resolutions urging the city to finalize and disseminate the schedule and rules for the upcoming surf season. I have also tried to expand the number of sites available by urging the opening of Velzyland.

The general public also needs to be considered and have its time. We need to step up to the plate and assure that the system we have in allocating slots considers the needs of all events at this venue.

Therefore, I am requesting the city administration to work with the affected parties and come up with a cohesive, comprehensive, fair, equitable and transparent system for the selection and scheduling of surf contests on the North Shore.

Contact City Councilman Donovan Dela Cruz, District II (Mililani Mauka to North Shore, to Ahuimanu and Heeia) at 768-5002.

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