Top surfers from Half Moon Bay, Santa Cruz and around the world opened the big wave surf contest on Friday with prayers and a paddle out at Mavericks Beach just outside Half Moon Bay.
Seventeen competitors, alternates, and former Mavericks contest champions participated in the ceremony, including 3-time winner and now-retired Darryl "Flea" Virostko from Santa Cruz.
Other opening ceremonies participants came from South Africa, Australia and Brazil. Hawaii's Kohl Christensen wore a "Live Like Sion" shirt commemorating , the surfer who traveled from Hawaii and while riding Mavericks' last big waves of the 2010-2011 winter season.
Read the full story, see more photos, and watch a video of the opening ceremonies on Half Moon Bay Patch by clicking .