Article

BIGGER IS BETTER: Mavericks Contest Is ON!

| posted on July 22, 2010

It all rests on the green light. And when the light turns green the world’s best big wave surfers slam on the adrenaline gas pedal and descend on the small town of Half Moon Bay for some big time surfing. It’s the Mavericks Surf Contest and for one big day the entire surfing world holds its breath while big wave stalwarts occasionally hold theirs.

When Mavericks is 25 feet…well, frankly, ‘holy shit’ is the appropriate term. Actually if the term ‘holy shit’ was sung by the Mormon Tabernacle choir on top of a reverberating, gothic Metallica-style power chord, that would be ideal. Mavericks deserves that sort of dark reverence. She is mean and powerful and spiritual. Located at a cathedral-style landscape on the northern California coast, Mavericks delivers violent quantities of cold, hard water which crash down without regard for the safety of the men who attempt to ride it.

Mavericks is Mother Nature scorned. She is usually gray. She is always cold. From the comfort of a boat, she could be considered beautiful, but she is not. When the surfers are in the lineup, jockeying for position, there is nothing beautiful about her. No. She is pissed off, scowling, angry. Each time the surfer completes a ride, it’s as if she had a child torn from her arms. She is pissed. Yet the surfers tempt her. And she slaps back. No, she crushes back. And it hurts. And for some reason, as spectators, we both enjoy, and cringe at, the carnage. As clich as it may sound, Mavericks surfers are modern day gladiators. Some survive. Some don’t. Mavericks, she sorts it all out.

WHAT WE KNOW

THE CONTEST:

The waiting period has been extended this year (starts Dec 7) so as to make sure the event gets run. Too much time, money and effort involved in this event to not run it. This event will happen.

THE SURFERS:

There are 24 surfers who literally put their lives on the line: one Brazilian, one Australian, two South Africans, three Hawaiians, and 19 Californians. Four are goofyfoots. No goofy foot has ever won the Mavericks Surf Contest. The international roster of invited surfers, which remains the same as last season with the exception of the alternates, consists of, in alphabetical order: Matt Ambrose, Grant “Twiggy” Baker, Ion Banner, Ross Clarke-Jones, Kenny “Skindog” Collins, Randy Cone, Danilo Couto, Shane Desmond, Brock Little, Greg Long, Josh Loya, Garrett McNamara, Peter Mel, Shawn Rhodes, Ryan Seelbach, Evan Slater, Tyler Smith, Russell Smith, Jamie Sterling, Anthony Tashnick, Darryl “Flea” Virostko, Grant Washburn, John Whittle and Zach Wormhoudt.

Also named were the 15 alternates, in order of priority: Dave Wassel, Nathan Fletcher, Chris Bertish, Carlos Burle, Ryan Augenstein, Dan Malloy, Rusty Long, Ben Andrews, Kealii Mamala, Mike Gerhardt, Eraldo Gueiros, Lawton Smith, Noah Johnson, Alex Martins, Jake Wormhoudt, Tim West, Mike Brummett, Doug Young and Yann Kazabjian.

This year, the invitees will compete for an exciting $75,000 prize purse. The purse breakdown awards $30,000 for first place, $12,000 for second place, $7,500 for third place, $3,500 for fourth, $2,500 for fifth and $1,500 for sixth place.

THE SPOT:

Mavericks is the bad ass of paddle-in surfing. She serves up a bevy of nightmarish obstacles starting with cold water; add jagged rocks, vicious currents, icy winds, and oh yeah, Great White sharks. When the fog rolls in, well, it’s not for the faint of heart. No other spot, save perhaps South Africa’s Dungeons, has as many scary wildcards as Mavericks. When Mavericks is 25 feet, look out, some heads are going to roll.

WHAT WE DON’T KNOW

THE CONTEST

When will the light turn green? The North Pacific is already heating up and Mavericks has had a solid day or two already.

THE SURFERS

Who will win? Smart money is on Flea, who has a knack for taking off deeper than most and he’s been to the winners circle before. Longshot is South Africa’s John Whittle. John who? Exactly.

THE SPOT

What will the conditions be like? Two years ago her demeanor was downright pleasant: Sunny and relatively warm. But that’s not her nature.

For more info, contest insight, competitor profiles and the live webcast of the Mavericks Surf Contest go to: www.maverickssurf.com

PRESS RELEASE BELOW:

On just 24 hours notice between December 7, 2007 and March 31, 2008, 24 legendary big-wave surfers will make the trek to Half Moon Bay, home of Mavericks, one of the most majestic and infamous surf breaks on earth, to test their individual skills and vie for the highly sought-after 2007/2008 Mavericks Surf Contest title. Competitors will face the dangerous elements of the frigid northern California waters in search of the perfect ride on waves reaching heights of 30 to 40 feet.

Contest Director Jeff Clark has announced that the official Contest window will open on December 7, several weeks earlier than in previous years, due to a storm season that is showing excellent early potential. Holding true to tradition, on the first day of the waiting period the surfers will welcome the new season with a ceremonial paddle out at the beach at Mavericks in Half Moon Bay.

“We are all stoked to be back for another year,” said Clark. “The 2007/2008 season looks promising as we’ve already seen the first major swell roll through Half Moon Bay in mid-October. The perfect contest day we’re looking for is typically a northwest groundswell between 18 and 20 feet (translating into waves faces of 30- to 40-feet).” The contestants receive the famous green light alert and have just 24 hours to arrive for the event.

The international roster of invited surfers, which remains the same as last season with the exception of the alternates, consists of, in alphabetical order: Matt Ambrose, Grant “Twiggy” Baker, Ion Banner, Ross Clarke-Jones, Kenny “Skindog” Collins, Randy Cone, Danilo Couto, Shane Desmond, Brock Little, Greg Long, Josh Loya, Garrett McNamara, Peter Mel, Shawn Rhodes, Ryan Seelbach, Evan Slater, Tyler Smith, Russell Smith, Jamie Sterling, Anthony Tashnick, Darryl “Flea” Virostko, Grant Washburn, John Whittle and Zach Wormhoudt.

Also named were the 15 alternates, in order of priority: Dave Wassel, Nathan Fletcher, Chris Bertish, Carlos Burle, Ryan Augenstein, Dan Malloy, Rusty Long, Ben Andrews, Kealii Mamala, Mike Gerhardt, Eraldo Gueiros, Lawton Smith, Noah Johnson, Alex Martins, Jake Wormhoudt, Tim West, Mike Brummett, Doug Young and Yann Kazabjian.

This year, the invitees will compete for an exciting $75,000 prize purse. The purse breakdown awards $30,000 for first place, $12,000 for second place, $7,500 for third place, $3,500 for fourth, $2,500 for fifth and $1,500 for sixth place.

Ensuring that Mavericks fans the world over can get a glimpse of the action, the Contest will be webcast live over the Internet. The “It’s On!” SMS campaign allows fans to sign up to receive a cell phone text alert as soon as the Contest green light is given. And the day’s activities will also be available via a unique live webcast viewing event at “baseball’s perfect address” and the home of the San Francisco Giants—AT&T Park. As always, surfers and fans alike can track the waves, stay informed on Contest announcements, and buy tickets for the AT&T Park Viewing Event at the official Mavericks website,www.maverickssurf.com.

About The Mavericks Surf Contest
Every winter season, Mother Nature offers up supremely harsh conditions and the giant, unpredictable waves that characterize Mavericks and the annual Mavericks Surf Contest. Frigid waters, dangerous currents, jagged rocks and the ever-present threat of the great white shark. Mix these with perfect weather conditions, and 24 legendary surfers will get the contest call from legendary big-wave surf pioneer and contest director, Jeff Clark. When they do, they will have only 24 hours to arrive in Half Moon Bay to face the extreme conditions, thunderous waves and each other. Coined as “the wave beyond,” the Mavericks™ brand inspires hardcore athletes to face the unpredictably raw power of Mother Nature, and stirs the souls of those who aspire to challenge their own limits. Mavericks remains true to its core: a cold, mysterious and foreboding place that demands respect from everyone who goes there and inspires them to attempt the extraordinary. For more information, including photos, surf conditions and contest highlights, visit Mavericks Surf Ventures online atwww.maverickssurf.com.