The Quiksilver Pro New York will not return to the East Coast as a stop on the 2012 ASP World Title Series, Quiksilver and the Association of Surfing Professionals announced Friday.
Long Beach was host to the competition last September, marking the sixth of 11 events on the series in 2011, and city officials were hopeful for the competition’s return in 2012.
"It is unfortunate that we announce the cancellation of the 2012 Quiksilver Pro New York," said Dave Prodan, ASP International spokesman, in a statement released Friday. "The 2011 installment was a fantastic event with excellent waves, tremendous local support and some of the best surfing we enjoyed all season. That said, we understand the factors leading to Quiksilver's withdrawal of the New York event from the 2012 schedule. We appreciate Quiksilver's continued support of the world's best surfers with the Australian and European elite level events in 2012."
The ASP International in November released its 2012 schedule that included the Quiksilver Pro New York among the stops on the tour, but did not announce a specific location.
Quiksilver had a three-year agreement with the Association of Surfing Professionals to hold Quiksilver Pro New York in the state for the next two years, but the agreement did not bind the company to hold it in Long Beach. That left the city in competition with other surf-friendly communities such as the Rockaways and Montauk.
Rob Colby, president of Quiksilver Americas, said in the statement that the 2011 Quiksilver Pro New York event was a “huge success” for the surfers and received and “incredible support from New Yorkers."
"Quiksilver is still very much committed to the ASP and the professional surfing tour in 2012 with the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast (Australia) and the Quiksilver Pro France,” he added.
While Quiksilver representatives were unavailable for comment Friday afternoon, City Councilman John McLaughlin said he believes Quiksilver was experiencing some financial problems and was forced to lay off employees.
“They had gone over budget for our event,” McLaughlin said.
He said the city should continue to seek a different sponsor for the surfing event, such as Nike or Billabong. “We should now be open to other offers from competitive companies,” he said. “We should find an alternative sponsor.”
Even though he was disappointed with Quiksilver’s decision, McLaughlin said, “I’m a realist, I’m a big boy and we have to move on.”
Nassau County Legislator Denise Ford, R-Long Beach, said she was extremely disappointed with Quiksilver’s decision not to return to the area.
“Maybe it was not profitable enough for them,” said Ford. “Everybody said it was a great, great event. The surfers seemed to really like it.”
Owen Wright defeating long-time veteran Kelly Slater to take home the $300,000 prize at the competition in Long Beach last September. The event was to include a festival, which included live bands, skateboarding and motorcross displays, but the City of Long Beach cancelled the festival after Hurricane-Turned Tropical Storm Irene flooded the city.
Ford said she doesn’t believe that the decision had anything to do with the sudden cancellation of the concert portion of the event in the aftermath of the damage left by Hurricane Irene.
“I’m really sad,” Ford added. “It brought such an excitement for us. It thrilled many people. Maybe we can try to change their minds.”
City Manager Charles Theofan; Councilmen Len Torres; and Dave Juan and Mike Nelson, owners of a Quiksilver store in Oceanside and Unsound Surf on East Park Avenue, were also unavailable for comment Friday.
* This story was updated at 6:23 on 12/16/11.