VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Due to storms moving through Hampton Roads, events for the East Coast Surfing Championship are officially canceled for Friday night.
“Weather is unpredictable so you make your best judgment call and you make it early,” explained ECSC chairman Tony Pellino.
ECSC officials said the storms -- some of which are severe -- make things just too difficult for surfers to paddle out.
Pellino explained, “Our first priority is safety and safety of the surfers, the safety of our community, and when lightning comes close, we call it. Unfortunately, we had to do that a few times, but that’s life.”
Friday's scheduled musical act will play at The Bunker, beginning at 9 p.m. Doors open at 8.
The annual event -- in its 57th year -- will continue through the weekend, however. The first-ever ECSC was in 1962 in Long Island, New York, when a group of teens held a beach and surf party.
A year later, the surfing contest was brought to the Virginia Beach Oceanfront, and it has stayed there ever since.
The event is more than surfing now. It has evolved into a multifaceted beach sport and entertainment festival that offers many visitor-friendly attractions. Events include volleyball, Monster BMX jumps, a skate park, and more.
The 2019 event takes place from August 18 until August 25.
Each event has several categories for amateurs male and female competitors. There's a pro category for most events too.
As for Saturday’s ECSC events, officials say it’s still up in the air!
“One day at a time. One day at a time. We are obviously looking at it very closely and we are keeping our fingers crossed, pray for surf, and good weather and we will make the call tomorrow,” Pellino explained.