Epic Maverick’s — But No Contest Yet


Epic Maverick’s — But No Contest Yet



If you were driving along the coast last Wednesday, you marveled at that most glorious sight for a big-wave surfer: a huge swell, not a cloud in the sky, and just the slightest wind out of the east. Maverick’s was perfect that day, and the Maverick’s Big Wave Invitational organizers can only hope another such day comes along before the window expires on March 31.

Sponsorship is difficult to come by in surfing, because you can’t promise that your event will actually be held. A lot of big-time sponsors back off, figuring there’s no point in investing money into a rumor. It was only this week that the Maverick’s contest secured Red Bull and Go Pro, two very high-profile sponsors, for this year’s event. It’s great news, but it came a bit too late for that epic Wednesday at Maverick’s.

The clip above gives you some idea of the conditions. It’s a shame that guy wrecked Shane Dorian’s ride, but here was a day with 40-foot faces and not a drop of water out of place. The clip is somewhat deceptive, for there were long lulls that day and only a few really giant sets. There’s also no guarantee that, two days prior, the surfers would have seen enough potential on the charts to give the “go” for a contest.

Truth be told, the really hard-core surfers didn’t much care. They’re all about riding big Maverick’s, just as often as they can, and this was a glorious day for Dorian, Mark Healey, Greg and Rusty Long, Kohl Christenson and Grant (Twiggy) Baker, along with Alex Martins, Kenny Collins, Ryan Seelbach and the other NorCal locals who never miss a good day out there. Dorian really stood out, by all accounts, and Healey made the adventurous attempt of trying to “backdoor” the left. He was driven rudely toward the bottom, and just as he felt certain both of his eardrums were going to blow, he hit bottom. Amazing stuff from the full-on Hawaiian charger.

Other notes on the surfing front:

—- To get a photographic sense of what really goes on at Maverick’s, stop by the Coastal Arts League Gallery on Main Street in Half Moon Bay, where the latest “Everest of the Seas” exhibition is on display. This is a collection of classic shots from some of Maverick’s best days, including the unforgettable 2010 contest, shot by the likes of Frank Quirarte, Seth Migdail, Tony Canadas and Fred Pompermayer. The exhibition runs through February 29.

—- The film commemorating the life of Jay Moriarity, starring Gerard Butler and tentatively called “Of Men and Maverick’s,” should be well worth watching (no release date has been set). The crew was out in force for Wednesday’s classic day, and according to Grant Washburn, the Mavs regular employed to oversee the surfing action, “Some pretty incredible stuff has been shot.”

Such standouts as Peter Mel, Zach Wormhoudt, Anthony Tashnick and Greg Long were hired for the so-called “hero shots,” featuring characters from…





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