Mavericks Surf Contest Gets Green Light

Mavericks Invitational organizers gave a "green light" on Wednesday for the big surf contest to begin.

The first heat is scheduled to take off Friday at 8 a.m., according to

Surfers were long ready for this good news and many had already flocked to Half Moon Bay to practice.

“Today was a really extreme day at Mavericks, 30-40 feet and as challenging as it gets,” surfer Rusty Long said earlier this week.

This year – as last year – all roads leading to Maverick’s Point will be closed to the public, but a festival is planned for the grounds of the Oceano Hotel & Spa, complete with a live feed of the action on the Jumbotron, food and beer.

The beach has been closed to the public since the 2010 contest when a giant wave wiped out the crowd watching from shore.

"Due to the high surf expected day of the contest, those who plan on attending in person are being cautioned to stay off the beaches, bluffs and cliffs as doing so will put their own safety at risk and likely be detrimental to the surrounding ecosystem," a San Mateo County Sheriff's spokesperson said in a news release statement.

Half of the 24 surfers on the bracket are locals from San Francisco, Santa Cruz and Pacifica. But some are coming from as far away as Australia, Brazil and South Africa, looking to win the biggest title in big wave surfing.

Tickets for the festival are $15-$20, or you can watch a live feed online. In addition to broadcast coverage, the entire contest will stream live on and

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