Mavericks Surf Contest Called for Sunday

Surf's up as the Mavericks big wave surfing contest is called for this weekend

The Mavericks Invitational will be held Sunday, according to texts that have been received by contestants and other leaders of the surfing contest.

Contest founder Jeff Clark confirmed the news just before 2 p.m.

“The waves are going to be insane, the weather is going to be beautiful, and the level of surfing will break new ground,” Clark said.

Mavericks will begin at 8 a.m. to coincide with a forecast of large west-northwest swell.

The news means 24 of the world's best surfers will be making their way to Half Moon Bay.

All week, contest organizers have been studying an approaching swell and hoping it would create contest conditions.

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Those conditions have to be extreme, with waves in past years as high as 50 feet, strong currents, frigid water and jagged rocks. Contestants are only promised to be given 24 hours' notice, but this year they got four days.

The contest was canceled for the past two years because the swells never got big enough.

The contest has some big competition for fans. The San Francisco 49ers play the Atlanta Falcons this Sunday with a noon kickoff.

People are also no longer going to be allowed to watch the surfers from the cliffs or the shoreline of Half Moon Bay.  In the past rocks have fallen and injured people sitting on the cliff, and two years ago the waves knocked spectators to the ground and in at least one case left the spectator with a broken leg.

Those areas are off limits this weekend. Fans will be charged $10 to $1,000 to watch a live feed of the contest from a nearby festival on the grounds of the Oceano Hotel and Spa at Princeton Harbor. The festival is located on the road to Mavericks and across from the legendary Mavericks Surf Shop.



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