S H O R T S H O R T S •
One August surf tradition still hopes for a good break
Surf’s Up —and Down
By FRITTS CAUSBY
WITH most live sports on the sidelines for the
foreseeable future, watching an in-person
surf contest might sound like something
out of a dream. Yet on Aug. 15 and 16, resi-dents
and visitors to Wrightsville Beach will have an opportunity
to do just that, as the organizers of the Wahine Classic received
approval to hold the competition.
The eighth annual event is open to professional and amateur
female surfers of all ages, including the Teenie Wahines, ages 10
and under. The impact of COVID-19 on travel is affecting some of
the regular participants. One competitor who will not be able to
make the trip is Delilah Hutchins, a homegrown talent who moved
to Costa Rica to pursue her dream of becoming a pro surfer. (“The
Future is Bright for Delilah Hutchins” WBM June 2020).
Two other Wrightsville Beach surfing events that are a fixture on
the calendar had to be canceled because of uncertainty over the
The Surfers Healing camp, set to take place Aug. 17, fell victim
to the virus. The annual camp, which teaches children with autism
how to surf, has taken place for the past 13 years.
“We’ve put off making this decision for as long as possible,”
Danielle Paskowitz, co-founder of the nonprofit, said in a letter to
families and volunteers. “There’s not a whole lot of flexibility to our
schedule. If we miss our window, it’s not so easy to open another
one on short notice given the tremendous amount of planning
Brad Beach, organizer of the O’Neill Sweetwater Pro-Am Surf
Fest that had been scheduled for Aug. 21-23, waited as long as
possible before making the decision to bail.
“Putting safety first and seeing the recent uptick in coronavirus
cases in Florida and North Carolina, we think postponing our event
until August 2021 is the smart decision,” Beach said in a Facebook
This would have been the 15th consecutive year of the sec-ond-
largest surf contest on the East Coast.
Female surfers of all ages will take to the water for the Wahine Classic, a Wrightsville Beach staple, on Aug. 15 and 16 this year.
Opposite: Competitors work to impress the judges at the 2019 event.
WBM FILE PHOTO