Not with a bang but with a whimper, BeachGrit's investigation on the legality of the Pipe Masters closes…
Like negotiating any bureaucratic mire, filing a document request with the City and County of Honolulu is a tediously time consuming exercise in frustration and patience. Documents are provided in a timely manner, though governmental definitions of timely leave a bit to be desired.
Copies of the permits granted, as well as related emails, show that the once-ASP/henceforth WSL was in fact in possession of variances which allowed them to run “four man staggered heats and man-on-man heats for the Quarters, Semi’s and Final”[sic].
They also reveal a rather cosy relationship between International Professional Surfing (the non-profit under which Randy Rarick applied for and was granted the permit) and the Honolulu Department of Parks and Recreation. No real surprise in Hawaii, a place which places a premium on interpersonal relationships (only sometimes to its detriment.)
Of course, the current regulations don’t allow for any such variances, but it should come as no surprise that the age-old precept that money makes it own rules holds as true now as ever. And you can’t really fault the WSL for taking advantage of exceptions which were requested and freely granted.
The fact does remain that the Honolulu Department of Parks and Recreation chose to disregard local regulations in granting the variances, but that’s another matter entirely.
What at first seemed to be a case of an evil outside force exploiting a local community in pursuit of the almighty dollar is instead the mundane matter of an appointed representative using his discretionary powers.
And, like any time something like this occurs, it’s now up to the residents of Oahu’s North Shore to decide if they want to kick and scream and force a change, or sit back, let matters be, and reap the supposed economic benefits of acquiescence.