Thursday, April 02, 2009
Mav's Big Wave Contest May Happen Next Week
Hope is on the horizon for the organizers of the Maverick's Surf Contest.
A swell capable of producing waves worthy of the big wave surf contest appears to be forming near the international date line. So Tuesday, the day they expected to be bemoaning the close of the window for the big wave surf contest, organizers instead anxiously awaited word that they had all the permits they needed to extend the contest period through April 8.
Keir Beadling, CEO of Mavericks Surf Ventures, which puts on the contest, said the extension hinges on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association. The NOAA has to grant the company an extension on its single-day exemption to the ban on personal watercraft in marine sanctuaries, including the waters surrounding the Maverick's break off Half Moon Bay.
"They are an important partner of ours and this is the crucial piece we need to get an extension," Beadling wrote in an e-mail Tuesday. "I am hoping to hear positive news from them tomorrow, and it's probably safe to say that thousands of people are crossing their fingers in the meantime."
A perfect storm of massive -- at least 20-foot faces -- and frequent waves must hit the break for the call to be made to bring in 24 of the world's top big wave surfers for the contest on 24 hours notice. That didn't happen during this year's Dec. 1 to March 31 contest window. However, wave trackers recently spotted a gale that could produce 32-foot seas -- and even bigger waves
at Maverick's on Monday, according to the San Mateo County Times.
"Everyone's getting excited about another computer model that's going to happen next Monday, if it happens at all," Maverick's founder Jeff Clark, who has the final say when it comes to giving the contest the green light, told the Times.
As many as 40,000 Bay Area surf fans attend the contest every year, and hundreds more catch the action on a live webcast, which will be available again this year at www.fuel.tv/maverickssurf. The contestants will compete for a $150,000 prize purse. The biggest purse ever! Cross your fingers and let's get this show on the road.