- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 6, 2021

HONOLULU (AP) - Hawaii has announced it’s suspending all surfing competitions because of concerns over the coronavirus pandemic.

The decision Tuesday means at least two World Surf League events will be canceled - the Jaws Championships that was planned for January to March in Pe’ahi, Maui, and the Sunset Open that was scheduled for Jan. 19-28 on the North Shore of Oahu, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported.

The Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism said protecting health and safety drove the decision because it would be difficult to enforce crowd sizes on public property.

“Following many discussions with health and natural resource leaders of the state to find a way forward for future surf contests in Hawaii, we have determined that the state will be suspending surf competitions at this time,” the department said in a statement.

The Billabong Pipe Masters had been held on the North Shore of Oahu in December under a film permit approved by the city and state. That competition did not allow fans in person.

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