Thanks to the relationship with The Go Big Project, Grind Out Hunger had the opportunity to participate in the 1st Annual Mavericks Invitational Festival, so we hooked up our 60-foot semi-truck loaded with skate ramps and made the drive to Half Moon Bay.
Saturday morning Rocky Romano and myself setup the mobile skate park while the weather was bearing down on us. We finished drilling in the last screw and barely made it to begin setting up the movie part of the Mavericks Awards before the torrential downpour began.
As I watched the scene unfold from my villa at the Oceano Hotel and Spa, the parking lot in the Princeton Harbor was being transformed in to a festival; with a performing stage, JumboTron screen (sponsored by Half Moon Bay Brewing Company) and a plethora of tents that were set up with sponsors including GoPro, Red Bull, Nestle's NesQuik, Sam’s Chowder Mobile and Crab Landing.
GoPro Cameras was doing give aways while the Red Bull Urban Assault Vehicle was front and center fully flared all while festival goers were checking out the the Mavericks Invitational merchandise that was available.
Fortunately, the skies parted and sunshine prevailed as the event took shape and was about to open the doors.
While big wave fans began to fill in, Master of Ceremonies Eric Byrnes (former MLB player for Oakland A’s and nightly host on KNBR) and Maverick’s pioneer Jeff Clark spoke about the history and legends of Mavericks, while honoring the surfers who have lost their lives awhile surfing the giant wave.
The ceremony continued paying tribute to the surfers who are so important to Mavericks' history with live interviews and anecdotes as the outstanding award show was broadcast in true awards TV style on the JumboTron.
Attendees were treated to a day of music from artists Dank Jenkins and Barfight, while closing off the day were an infamous Santa Cruz band, The Expendables, who played a fresh blend of reggae, punk and 80’s style guitar solos.
Actress/Model Sara Kova made her way through the crowd as she interviewed big wave surfers, Nic Lamb, Shawn Dollar, Darryl “Flea” Virostko and Ken “Skindog” Collins to name a few on behalf of The Go Big Project for a Fuel TV episode.
Grind Out Hunger skater and Hunger Fighter Zane Keith (my son is rad, I am proud) was in attendance consistently going big. Skaters from all over the bay came out to celebrate the big wave surfers, donate and session for hours on the ramps. Every skater walked away wearing one of Zane's bracelets. Luckily we were positioned by Green Planet Water keeping all the skaters hydrated. Special thanks to RhodyCo Productions for their forklift work moving the ramps in and out of the semi trailer.
Ken “Skindog” Collins who received an award in the First Annual Mavericks Awards Photo of the Year with Frank Quirarte. Kenny’s nomination into the Billabong XXL awards for Monster Paddle In was also announced just days before the festival. While Grind Out Hunger also just announced the big wave madman is now representing as a Surf Hunger Fighter.
Other heavy-hitting surf royalty in attendance were Kim Moriarity, Frosty, Zach Wormhoudt, Greg Long, Bob Pearson, Powerlines Productions, Seth Migdail, and Khol Christensen.
When the awards ceremony got underway it was The Go Big Project production that encapsulated the magic of the Mavericks Award ceremonies. With film vignette’s encompassing the nominees and the waves they rode allowing the festival goers to enjoy the full spectrum of Mavericks and the big wave gladiators that surf it.
Darryl “Flea” Virostko was awarded the Mavericks Legend award for his successful three-time crowning as winner of the Mavericks big wave contests. Having surfed the spot for over 20 years, Flea was very humble in his appreciation to the surfers that brought him there and for the recognition for his long surfing career.
Shane Dorian’s surfing spoke for itself as the Hawaiian surfer walked away with Barrel of the Year, Bomb of the Year and Male Performance of the Year.
And the party didn’t stop there, everyone headed over to the Old Princeton Landing for the after party with Space Monkey Gangstas, Hallway Ballers, Flintheart, Rob Armenti and Special Guest of the night, The Expendables.
Overall the music was insane, the sponsors were stoked and the fans seemed to have a great time mingling amongst the big wave surfers, skateboard ramps, the musicians and taking in the beautiful weather that held out for the First Annual Mavericks Invitational Festival.
I would love to see this event carry forward with or without the surf contest as the big wave fans obviously show interest in mingling with the big wave surfers and the sense of community that surrounds it. Grind Out Hunger is excited to be a part of the future of the Mavericks Invitational Festival for years to come and continue to using the relationship to Action Sports to engage the youth to rise up against childhood hunger.
Wipeout of the Year: Carlos Burle, Brazil
Barrel of the Year: Shane Dorian, Hawaii
Bomb of the Year: Shane Dorian, Hawaii
Photo of the Year: Ken "Skindog" Collins, Santa Cruz and Frank Quirarte, Half Moon Bay
Male Performance of the Year: Shane Dorian, Hawaii
Female Performance of the Year: Savannah Shaughnessy, Scotts Valley
Mavericks Legend: Darryl "Flea" Virostko, Santa Cruz