Meet the First Women Selected for the Titans of Mavericks Competition

While only one can win the heat, the six female big-wave surfers have already made history in the competition's 17-year history, as the first women selected to compete as official competitors at the Titans of Mavericks.

Sarah Gerhardt, Emily Erickson, Paige Alms, Jamilah Star, Keala Kennelly, Andrea Moller have been announced as official competitors with Bianca Valenti and Wrenna Delgado as alternates. 

Sarah Gerhardt

Sara Gerhardt, of Santa Cruz, California, is noted as the first woman to surf the Mavericks and has been quoted as an inspiration to other aspiring big-wave surfers in a feature for Santa Cruz Waves. 

Andrea Moller

Andrea Moller, of São Paulo, Brazil, is said to be the first woman to ride the waves at Pe'ahi, commonly known as “Jaws,” and was selected for the World Surf League’s "Women's Best Performance" award just this year.

Moller was also one of the four big-wave surfers who submitted an appeal to the California Coastal Commission in favor of a women’s division at the Titans of Mavericks.

While stipulations for women’s involvement were already included in the competition’s permit requirements, organizers had announced no plans to include women in the upcoming season in a request for an extended, multi-year permit.

Weeks before a review of the women's appeal, organizers announced revised plans to include six women as official competitors for the first time in its 17-year history.

Jamilah Star

Jamilah Star, of Santa Cruz, California, was the first woman to earn the title of Billabong XXL Big Wave Award, according to her biography, and can be found surfing anywhere from Mavericks to Sunset Beach in Hawaii.

Paige Alms

Paige Alms, of Haiku, Hawaii, started riding waves at an early age and has appeared in numerous competitions including those by the National Scholastic Surfing Association and the World Surf League.

Alms was also one of the four women who submitted an appeal to the California Coastal Commission asking for a women’s division.

Keala Kennelly

Keala Kennelly, of Kauai, Hawaii, has been a professional surfer since 1995, according to Huntington Beach’s Surfing Walk of Fame.

She has surfed in numerous competitions, placing at the Association of Surfing Professionals Women’s World Championship Tour.

She has previously broken records in big-wave women’s surfing and has played roles in television, documentaries and movies such as Blue Crush and Step Into Liquid.

Kennelly was chosen as Women of the Year in 2013 and was also one of the four women who submitted an appeal to the California Coastal Commission asking for a women’s division.

Emily Erickson

Emily Erickson, of Haleiwa, Hawaii, is the most recent to women's big-wave surfing within this division, gaining attention in 2013 by ESPN. Erickson won the ‘Paddle Award’ at Jaws by the World Surf League earlier this year and is the daughter of big-wave surfer Roger Erickson. 

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