VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - The coronavirus pandemic may have caused the East Coast Surfing Championship to scale down this year's event, but it isn't stopping the ECSC from having a historic year.
In its 58th straight year, the ECSC has become the longest continuous running surfing competition in the world. That feat previously belonged to the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach event in Australia, but the event was canceled because of the pandemic.
Safety has been key in making this year's ECSC possible.
- The event will not allow more than 50 people to be on site, with only surfers and staff allowed on location. No spectators are permitted.
- Unlike in typical years, no international surfers will take place in competition.
- Masks are required.
- The non-surfing sporting events and concerts that typically accompany surfing will not take place.
"The surf competition is the core of ECSC," East Coast Surfing Competition chairman Tony Pellino said. "We have all these other great events, but when it comes down to it it’s all about the surfing."
The surfers are stoked because after months of being unable to compete, Pellino says that this marks the first major surf competition in the world since COVID-19 shutdowns began.
"A lot of the guys and girls I've been talking to have been so excited, thanking us for allowing us to have it," Pellino said. "There's nothing but smiles, and thanks, and safety, and safety and safety, so everyone's really stoked about it and we’re happy to host it."