Women’s Heat to Be Held at Titans of Mavericks

And there's $30,000 dollars on the line

| posted on October 19, 2016
Women, like big-wave charger Bianca Valenti, are officially invited to participate in their own heat at the annual Titans of Mavericks event. Photo: Cunningham

Women, like big-wave charger Bianca Valenti, are officially invited to participate in their own heat at the annual Titans of Mavericks event. Photo: Cunningham

According to a recent announcement from the Titans of Mavericks Twitter account, there will be a women’s heat in this winter’s Titans of Mavericks event. The roster hasn’t been announced yet, but the inaugural, hour-long heat will include six women– and they’ll be vying for a $30,000 prize purse.

The announcement came on the heels of a recent proposal submitted to the California Coastal Commission by the Cartel Management (the Titans of Mavericks event organizers) for a permit to hold an all-women’s heat at the annual big-wave surfing event. The proposal indicated this wouldn’t take place until the 2017-2018 season, so the recent announcement came as a pleasant surprise to many female big-wave surfers who have been fighting yearly for inclusion.

“I wasn’t expecting this,” says Ocean Beach charger Bianca Valenti. “But I think it’s awesome. I’m just excited to see the women’s side of the sport strengthen. It felt weird always asking for them to let us women in. So it feels great knowing they know want us to be apart of this rad big-wave community.”

Historically, a few women have been invited as alternates to the Titans of Mavericks event, but none have actually paddled into the lineup as official competitors. Valenti, along with big-wave surfers Paige Alms, Keala Kennelly, and Andrea Moller–who started a group called The Committee for Equity in Women’s Surfing– also recently submitted a proposal to the CCC back in September, requesting a women’s division in the Mavericks contest each year.

“To me, this a lesson showing that if you want something, you’ve got to speak up,” says Valenti.

Keala Kennelly, who’s been on the big-wave scene for over about a decade, is equally excited about the new inclusion. “I’m stoked,” says Kennelly. “I think this is a big win for women’s surfing, women’s sports, and women in general. WSL came to the party last year when they announced a Women’s Big Wave World Tour Championships for 2017 at Jaws or Todos. La Vaca Gigante by Oakley [a big-wave event in Spain] announced they will have a women’s heat with equal prize money to the men. The Titans are a little late to the party, but I say better late than never!”

The Titans of Mavericks opening ceremony will be held this Friday. The contest window starts November 1st and ends March 31.

  • Eesha Williams

    Great news! Thank you Surfer magazine for covering this.

  • Would be better to…

    Why separate events…let the woman & men surf together!!

    • notionless

      Good question — I’m thinking since women haven’t made the cut into the elite division so far (article says only invited as alternates only), they grant a whole division to just women — hopefully garnering attention and grooming more talent — to lay a foundation for more females moving forward. It also wouldn’t be too fair for women to surf this event for the first time amongst the kings and veterans of this contest I guess either.

  • notionless

    Respectable decision to officially welcome the women onto the same scene as the men — with comparable prize money too! Let’s all support these ventures to demonstrate to event organizers this is a great thing