Long Beach, L.I.
words/Images Judith Ecochard
The powers that be breathed a sign of relief today.
-After Hurricane Irene knocked out more than just power-the offshore Hurricane Katia gave surfers, pro and am--lots of swell swells-3-4 feet at least-
...for a Labor Day fun fest for onlookers and surfers -showing the pros that the Easy Coast is worthy, particular in September.
|The Leader Board|
At least 40,000 people of all types-all ages too-packed Long beach -given the local biz a boost of revenue.
|Bar crowd at Allegria Hotel...all day!|
Even the gals at the press room where we checked in-were stunned at the turnout. We all wondered if Quiksilver had enough warehoused merch to sell...their pitched tent----about the size of half a football field-was wall to wall with people getting tees, hats, etc.
A blessing on the beach- in the tradition of Hawai---musta done the job---because the ATP officials were thinking that the waves would there---to finish up the competition in 5 days-not the alloted ten.
|ROXY had arts n' crafts tables-leather lanyards bedazzled your way with beads, feathers----|
|DJ kept toes tappin'|
Hey, more time for the pros including the highly popular Kelly Slater-to tool around NY...maybe even take in some tennis at that other sporting event-the U.S. Open.
There are many reasons we think that day outdrew the tennis---from NYC---the local train LIRR---had $21 fare-it's round trip, including a beach pass versus gas costs and who knows how long, sitting in traffic on the LIE aka the world's longest parking lot...
---the Long Beach station a mere five minute stroll away...and for a day at the wide sandy beach----plus...a great way to get out of town.
Our train was packed---natives, tourists, college kids, families etc-even though it was midday and the event had started hours earlier.
|Crowds several humans deep and this wasn't even the main competition|
User friendly, the pro gals were riding when we got out there. They made it look easy---it probably was for them---but we know better. Surfing is not one of those sports you can pick up in two secs- usually---as an adult.
|Local surfers take part too...|
|wide white sandy beach- comfortable temps|
The main competition starts tomorrow at 8AM ---and though the Labor Day crowds will not be present, we assume----we bet the turnout is wwwaaayyyy better than what shows up on the other ATP tour stops.