Last year they waited and the waves never came, at least not
the monster 50 footers that only the elite list of surfers
from around the globe get invited to ride. That was 2007.
What a difference a year makes.
This year, the contest is on. Contest organizers haven't
gotten the big ones yet, but they're getting skiddish about
all the heat they took for not having an event last year. So
now, organizers such as Keir Beadling of Mavericks Surf
Ventures, which runs the event, is stoked that this weekend
will bring some adventure, whatever it may be.
While other California beach cities might only dream of a
10-to-14 foot swell, try doubling that and you're in the
ball park for what's predicted in the 2008 competition. And
the stakes are high. $75,000 in prize money is sweet, but
the dangers are real, and the surfers who can handle the
waves can be wiped out in serious ways.
Half a mile from shore and barely visible from Pilar Point,
it's a mystery who 50,000 people show up to watch. The sleep
hamlet of Princeton by the Sea can handle a couple hundred
people on a clear day in May. So organizers are supposed to
be offering a live broadcast of the event on
While some of the contestants already signed up for an event
in Oregon this weekend, all bets are off as to them turning
back for Mavericks. Peter Mel, a Santa Cruz favorite, turned
back with tow-in mate Ryan Augenstein and hope to arrive in
time for the event.
Competition begins at approx. 8 a.m., with the finals
dictated by the weather. 24 big-wave surfers are invited to
compete. Invited from places such as South America, it's
always a surprise to see who arrives.