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Quiksilver Pro N.Y. event site dismantled as Irene approaches Long Beach

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As Hurricane Irene approaches as a category 1 hurricane, construction of the Quiksilver event site was halted on Friday and Saturday, as crews worked to dismantle the entire structure just a week before the largest surf competition -- with pro surfers like Kelly Slater vying for a piece of the $1 million prize purse -- in history hits Long Beach on Sept. 1.

Quiksilver has been following instructions issued by the city, and with safety a concern as Irene packs forceful wind gusts, the event site has been removed.

“Safety is the number one issue, so in observance of that, we have removed the event site,” said Jodi Wilmott, a spokeswoman for Quiksilver. “We will re-assess the situation after the storm has passed and resume when it is safe to do so.

Wilmott said that reports that the event, which takes place Sept. 1-15, has been postponed are premature and erroneous at this time.

Surfline.com, the world’s leading forecaster of wave and surf conditions, conducted an independent long term 15-year wave study for western Long Island and found that September 4-15 is one of the most consistent time periods for sizable surf in the region, typically averaging 3+ hurricane swells.

“Surfing events revolve around the weather,” Wilmott said on Friday. “Waves are generated by storms and we knew that we were scheduling this event during peak hurricane season. In working with weather-driven events, you have to be flexible. It's the nature of the sport. The holding period for the Quiksilver Pro New York is Sept. 1-15. We will continue to monitor the situation every day between now and the end of the period and issue updates as necessary.”