Mavericks Surfing Contest Targeting Next Week, With Women’s Debut

Anticipation is rising along with the waves as surfing fans in the Bay Area and around the world wait to see if the Mavericks big-wave surfing contest will take place next week as many hope.

On Thursday, surfers were told it won't happen Monday as initially thought, and organizers were evaluating Tuesday as a possibility. The biggest issue is the wind making conditions dangerous.

Meanwhile, a big focus on this year's Mavericks is the first-ever women’s competition. It will be a historic moment for women surfers and their fans.

If and when the World Surfing League pinpoints a day in which ideal conditions green light the contest, the elite big-wave surfers will have 48 hours to show up.

This year, top women competitors will be among those taking on the massive waves, competing against each other for equal prize money.

"I don’t really see that many women doing it that often, so I think it’s awesome that the sport is growing to that population as well," surfing fan Allie Vacar said.

Fan Taylor Scornavacco added: "For women to be out here doing what the men are doing is a really cool thing, and I think that it’s good for the sport, and it’s good for the exposure of surfing in general."

San Mateo County Harbor Commissioner Sabrina Brennan helped lead the local fight to include women and equal pay.

"All of the women athletes have stuck together, and they’ve really been unified in their message," Brennan said. "They’ve worked hard to make this happen."

But adding up to a dozen more surfers will be a challenge for Mavericks contest format.

"Some of the other places that the Big Wave Surf Tour goes have two-day windows, and we only have one day," Deputy Harbor Master Cary Smith said. "So we really have to get that in and hope that for the contest those waves materialize between the hours of 8-to-5."

Some of the surfers were out practicing Thursday, giving it their best and hoping for the best.

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