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WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, NC (WECT) - After seven years the Reef-Sweetwater Surf Festival will not return to Wrightsville Beach in 2012.
According to event coordinator Tony Butler, sponsorship issues for an eighth year were the downfall of the event.
"My partner who worked for Reef for 23 years left the company to pursue another job and I'll be leaving Sweetwater at the end of the month." Butler said. "If we couldn't pull of the event at the same lever as prior years we felt it would be much wiser to pull back this year, regroup, and get back on track for next year."
The event, which started in Wrightsville Beach in the summer of 2005, had become known as one of the premier events on the East coast. Top-ranked surfers from around the world such as Rob Machado, Aaron Cormican, Asher Nolan and Wrightsville Beach native Ben Bourgeois went head-to-head for a $20,000 purse.
In recent years the event grew beyond surfing, adding an art and musical festival over the three-day event.
Butler, who also runs WBlive.com, plans to bring another event back to the beach he calls home as early as 2013. "That's the plan at the moment, but we'll have to wait and see."
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