2004-07-02 / Sports

Surfers Lose Hope In Health Code Amendment

By Henrick Karoliszyn

Surfers Lose Hope In Health Code Amendment

By Henrick Karoliszyn

Surfing Columnist

As the wave reported last week, the "surfing only" beaches that many felt were going to be established by the summer time, have been put on hold according to the Department of Parks and Recreation, which resulted in many local surfers who have been frustrated by this issue for years to feel let down. 

"I can’t believe this is still going on," said local 35-year-old surfer, Jason Fitzpatrick, "I just can’t understand it. It [the change in the health code] should have happened already."

With the 45-day comment period announced by Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer resulting in many urgent letters, the universal message of maintaining the sport in Rockaway legally and allowing the surfers to have their own beach was evident.  "It is ridiculous," said Rockaway resident, Tina Reyes, who said she wrote one of the letters,  "My son has been surfing ever since we moved here three years ago and that shouldn’t be compromised."

As the state has not made anything official yet, the optimism in most of the surfers has been deteriorated by the false hope of amending the health code to make for surfing beaches.  "I just don’t think anything is going to happen," said surfer, 23-year-old Nick Cruz, "It is kind of disappointing."

This seemed to be echoed by other surfers like Vince Gilman, who said the law would probably not change and that "people who are not involved in the sport, just don’t understand that this is an issue here."  Although there is enthusiastic community support, it still looks like surfers will have to wait a little longer before any change will be made official, as Gilman said, "I’m not holding my breathe."

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