Disappearing Sunset Beach forces surf contest organizers to get creative

Disappearing Sunset Beach forces surf contest organizers to get creative
(image: Hawaii News Now)
(image: Hawaii News Now)
(image: Hawaii News Now)
(image: Hawaii News Now)
(image: Hawaii News Now)
(image: Hawaii News Now)
(image: Hawaii News Now)
(image: Hawaii News Now)

SUNSET BEACH, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Erosion happens every year at Sunset Beach, but scientists say it's earlier and more severe than previous years.

And the problem is spurring organizers of the Vans World Cup to get creative.

The second jewel of the Triple Crown is scheduled to run next Friday. The erosion meant it wasn't safe to put scaffolding in the sand on Sunset Beach, so World Surf League organizers got city approval to move scaffolding onto the roads, trailers off to the side. Plus, judges will be stationed in a home.

It's never been done before, but scientist say this is a glimpse into the future.

"We submitted a revised site plan (to the city) and got approval for that. And today is day one of the build. And so the revised plan is what we are starting to put into effect, much reduced," said Jodi Wilmott, general manager for World Surf League Hawaii.

Dolan Eversole, University of Hawaii coastal processes specialist, said the early erosion problems are concerning.

"This year we're seeing an unusually early erosion of Sunset Beach and that's concerning to us as researchers because we see a whole winter ahead of us where the beach is gonna continue to erode until we get some big west swells," he said.

Wilmott said contest organizers have hired extra police officers and security to help with traffic mitigation and pedestrian crossing.

She said they are also strongly urging people to watch online.

"We like to say the best seat in the house is at your own house," she said.

Pro surfer Marco Giorgio, who is in town for the contest, said most people watch online anyway. "It'll be fine. If there's waves, it's fine," he said.

They will be setting up for the World Cup at Sunset Beach from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. until Wednesday. The World Cup is scheduled for Nov. 25 to Dec. 6.

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