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High winds blow out New Year’s Surf City Splash in H.B.; organizers plan to reschedule

Jack Carey, 85, a Huntington Beach resident for 55 years, took his float to the beach on New Year’s Day for the Surf City Splash, only to find out the annual dash into the ocean had been canceled. Still, he bid other beach visitors a happy new year.
(Photo by Spencer Grant)

High winds and concerns about water safety led organizers to cancel Tuesday’s 19th annual Surf City Splash, in which swimmers take a chilly dip in the ocean at Huntington Beach to celebrate New Year’s Day.

“We care about your safety; unfortunately, due to weather conditions, we are canceling the … Surf City Splash today,” according to an email Tuesday morning from Diana Dehm, executive director of the International Surfing Museum in Huntington Beach, which benefits from registration proceeds from the event.

Dehm said Wednesday that organizers plan to reschedule the Splash, though the date is uncertain.

The Surf City Splash was scheduled to feature a pancake breakfast at Pier Plaza before participants, many of them in costume, made a noontime dash into the Pacific.


But northeast winds were about 25 mph Tuesday, with some gusts reported at more than 50 mph, according to Huntington Beach Marine Safety Lt. Claude Panis.

Despite the cancellation, some people went ahead and took a dip in the water, which measured about 57 degrees Tuesday, according to a Huntington City Beach Twitter account.