Titans of Mavericks: How to Watch the Famous Surf Contest Near Half Moon Bay

With access to coastal viewing areas blocked by police, spectators are advised to try watching online – or charter a boat.

WATCH CONTEST: Live on Red Bull TV.

The Mavericks big-wave surf contest, officially called Titans of Mavericks, was last held off Pillar Point near Half Moon Bay back in January 2014.

And as the waves pick up, along with the world's top surfers, plenty of crowds are starting to show up for Friday's one-day competition that's only held when conditions are just right. Waves between 15 and 25 feet are expected this time around.

The competition is invitation-only. This year, 24 of the world's best surfers are competing for a $120,000 purse, with $30,000 going to the winner.

The contest was supposed to start at 7:30 a.m., but actually kicked off at 8 a.m. It should end by late afternoon, depending on conditions.

But don't expect to see anything from land. Since a rogue wave wiped out some spectators during the 2010 contest, there is no access to the bluffs or the beach at Pillar Point, and authorities are expected to block roads.

Event organizers will not be a hosting viewing party with a big-screen simulcast as they have in past years. Instead, surf fans are encouraged to watch on Red Bull TV.

Fans can watch the event on screens at six places in Half Moon Bay and Princeton-by-the-sea including the Mavericks Surf Shop; Half Moon Bay Brewing Company; Flavor; Old Princeton Landing: Public House and Grill; Miramar Beach Restaurant; and Cameron's Inn, Pub and Restaurant, according to organizers. In Santa Cruz, fans can watch the competition at Pleasure Pizza East Side Eatery, Berdels, New Bohemia Brewery Co. and Pono Hawaiian Grill. In Pacifica, fans can watch the surfers at La Playa Taqueria and in San Francisco, fans can catch it at Pete's Tavern and the Wipeout Bar and Grill, according to the event's website.

The best option for those hoping to see the action in person seems to be to charter a boat, although the Coast Guard advises that spectators who chose "to view the event from the water should do so at their own risk."

More information can be found on the event's website at titansofmavericks.com.

Santa Cruz’s own Ken Collins has been surfing Mavericks for 23 years, “seen a million things happen,” but he says he learns something new every time.

Bay City News contributed to this report.

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