Pro surfing to return to Hawaii — but without fans on the shoreline

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Updated: Nov. 10, 2020 at 9:42 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Champion surfing is back: The World Surf League’s tour will return to Hawaii for the 2021 season.

But surfers and fans can expect big changes when the season starts. Like everyone else, they’ve made adjustments in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We like to say in the surfing world, the two greatest words: ‘We’re on,’” said Erik Logan of the WSL.

The World Surf League will kick off the 2021 season in December with the women at Honolua Bay on Maui.

And instead of ending at Pipeline on Oahu’s North Shore, the men will start there.

“We feel really, really confident of leaning and help restart the economic engine by bringing the world’s best surfers to the North Shore,” said Logan.

“I really don’t think there’s a better way to start the season and end a very challenging year on a positive note,” said World Surfing Champion Carissa Moore.

The league’s agreed to COVID-19 protocols. There will be mandatory testing for athletes and staff, daily temperature checks, mask wearing and social distancing.

And the tour will be broadcast only.

“We wish the fans could be there,” said Pro Surfer Billy Kemper. “But we’re very happy to them at home in comfort, watching live surfing and —cheering us on from your couch.”

To keep crowds away, WSL will have no active presence at Pipeline and Sunset Beach. Instead, the competitions will be run from private properties.

The county and WSL will be also monitoring the production zones.

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