Linda Benson: “No Contest At Swamis”

As reported on www.signonsandiego.com:

Swami’s, long revered as a sublime surfing spot, will not be the site of a world championship surfing contest in October for female longboarders, the event’s organizer said Tuesday.

Linda Benson, a world-renowned longboard surfer who grew up surfing at Swami’s in the 1950s, said she will not pursue a city permit to stage the four-day event there — although she said she hopes to stage the event somewhere in North County. She said she had become concerned that approval of the contest might open the beach to other events that could disturb the serenity of the Self-Realization Fellowship, a nearby spiritual retreat.

Benson had wanted to bring the Women’s World Longboard Championships, which has been staged in the past in Costa Rica, Huntington Beach and in France, among other places, to Swami’s. Just last week, the Encinitas City Council gave her the go-ahead to apply for a permit.

Some local surfers vigorously opposed the idea. They suggested that a surfing contest would sully Swami’s and inundate the area with traffic, crowds and commercialism at the beach and at a planned festival associated with the contest on K Street. The city of Encinitas has never before allowed organized public events at Swami’s.

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