Organizers need sponsor for women’s big-wave surfing contest

HONOLULU (AP) — Organizers of the first-ever Hawaii big-wave surfing contest exclusively for women are in need of a sponsor.

Betty Depolito and Wrenna Delgado secured a city permit to hold the Women’s Waimea Bay Championship later this year, but the pair needs to find a corporate sponsor willing to spend about $150,000.

“It’s really late notice that we got the permit,” Depolito said. “So it’s a difficult situation to find a corporation that can do that that quickly. We’re hoping a good Hawaiian corporation can come in quickly and get this thing done because it’s worth it.”

If the contest can land a sponsor, 24 female big-wave surfers from around the world will participate, including Haleiwa’s Emily Erickson. She has ridden Waimea waves for years but never in an all-women’s competition in sizable surf, Hawaii News Now reported.

“Seeing it come to fruition is a beautiful thing,” Depolito said. “It can set a really positive example for a lot of the girls growing up. I think that’s the main objective.”

Waimea Bay will be reserved for the women’s contest from Oct. 1 through Nov. 21.

Over the past 10 years Depolito’s landed other city permits for women’s events at Waimea Bay. This is the first one granted for the time of year when Waimea’s waves are at their biggest.