September 4, 2011

Surfing Professionals at Long Beach Look Forward to Katia's Swell

Back in January the Association of Surfing Professionals announced their controversial decision to hold:

The first-ever ASP World Tour stop on the East Coast of the United States,  set to take place on Long Island’s Long Beach from September 4-15. The event will offer a $1 million dollar prize purse to competitors, an amount unprecedented in professional surfing.

According to the initial press release:

September 4-15 is one of the most consistent time periods for sizeable surf in the region. In addition, independent local feedback supports these findings, with September typically averaging 3+ hurricane swells, typically with at least one 3-4 day swell.

As things have turned out Quiksilver, the commercial sponsors of the event, have received rather more in the way of  hurricane swells than they initially bargained for. In a news release last week in the wake of Hurricane Irene they announced that:

Quiksilver is working closely with the City of Long Beach to preserve the heart of the ASP World Tour surf contest scheduled to start on Sunday, September 4 in light of the impact of Hurricane Irene and concerns for the Long Beach community, which suffered significant damage from the storm.

The situation has been changing daily, and we recognize that City resources are focused on hurricane restoration and clean up as first priority.  In that context, we have been informed by the City that the festival and music components of the event are no longer achievable.

The Quiksilver Pro NY is first and foremost about the surf contest and Long Beach has an incredible surfing tradition and spirit.  We are committed to holding the ASP tour event at Long Beach so that together we can promote the sport by bringing together the best surfers in the world to this terrific community.

Surf forecasters across the globe are currently examining their charts closely and announcing their predictions for the effect Hurricane Katia will have on the swell at Long Beach over the contest period. According to Surfline, the World Championship Tour's official forecaster:

The forecast track and strength of Katia is favorable to send surf to Long Island next week. We will see SE swell forerunners to show during the second half of the day on Sunday. Pulsy SE swell is expected to come up on Monday, filling in a little more into Tuesday. With Katia expected to strengthen we do anticipate medium to solid SE swell for mid/late next week. This outlook is dependent on the eventual track and strength of Katia over the next several days.

According to UK surf website MagicSeaweed:

The latest model numbers for swell are remarkably consistent from Florida right up to the Quik contest site at Long Beach, we’re in the [email protected] seconds range at peak and this is taken from our normal swell model which tends to run cool on these small, intense storms. Additionally the relatively slow moving storm is going to generate a more slowly building swell that looks like it could plausibly give almost a full week of swell against the short lived ‘surfing in the storm’ style swell that Hurricane Irene delivered.

Here's their current surf forecast for the New York area for the next 10 days or so:

MagicSeaweed surf forecast for Long Beach on Sunday September 4th 2011

MagicSeaweed surf forecast for Long Beach on Sunday September 4th 2011

For comparison purposes you might wish to read our discussion of the MagicSeaweed surf forecast for New York a week ago. If you would also like to watch what the best surfers in the world can achieve in whatever swell Katia ultimately delivers to New York over the next ten days then the contest starts today, and you can watch the event live courtesy of Quiksilver's web site.

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