Update: Decision on Holding Mavericks This Weekend Could be Made by This Afternoon

Jeff Clark has been studying an approaching swell that bodes well for creating contest conditions.

1/16/13 1:35 p.m.: According to contest organizers, the Mavericks Big Wave Invitational 2013 is slated for this Sunday.

Patch will update this story as more information becomes available.


Original post 1/16/13 11 a.m.:

An official decision on whether to hold the world-renowned Mavericks Invitational surf contest near Half Moon Bay this weekend could be made by 2 p.m. today, contest founder Jeff Clark said this morning.

Contest organizers have been studying an approaching swell that bodes well for creating contest conditions, Clark said.

"The way this storm has telegraphed and what it's going to do, I think we'll be able to make the call this afternoon — and it looks promising," Clark said.

Exactly 24 of the most skilled surfers from around the world have been selected to participate in the big-wave surfing contest, which takes place one half mile off the coast of Half Moon Bay at the Mavericks break. 

Contest conditions are extreme, with waves in past years as high as 50 feet, strong currents, frigid water and jagged rocks. Contestants are given just 24 hours' notice to arrive to the coast ready to compete.

The contest was canceled last year because Mother Nature failed to produce perfect conditions, Clark said. But this year might prove different.

"We're really excited that we actually have a swell," Clark said. "This is the biggest swell we've had for a couple years."

When asked how high the waves could be from this swell, Clark immediately responded "big."

"We're hoping for at least 30-foot range, but the ocean does what it wants and it's not going to give you that perfect storm every year," he said.

— Bay City News

Copyright © 2012 by Bay City News, Inc. — Republication, Rebroadcast or any other Reuse without the express written consent of Bay City News, Inc. is prohibited.

Brian Ginna January 16, 2013 at 10:03 PM
Good thing there isn't anything like an NFL playoff game on Sunday.
Jo March January 16, 2013 at 10:22 PM
That's so exciting! This is our first year living in HMB. Where are the best places to watch?
Brian Ginna January 16, 2013 at 10:49 PM
Not anywhere near the contest. They are closing off all access. You can watch it in the mall parking lot, for a fee/donation, or watch it in front of your computer. Or your boat, if you have one.
Dave January 16, 2013 at 11:53 PM
Where did Mark Sponsler see swell charts that show 60 feet? All the swell charts list 20 feet max...and where did he get his report of a big storm? Weather Sunday is expected to be clear. Perhaps stopped by his local Herbal Store before reading the charts.....
Jo March January 17, 2013 at 12:15 AM
Thanks for the response. I knew that you can't get near it but I've heard that some places around town set up big screen TVs for viewing as well. Maybe we'll try the mall parking lot but I imagine that's a zoo.


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