Near the sleepy Northern California coast town of Half Moon Bay, the waves are among the biggest in the world. We are talking 30-40 foot monsters that break over a half mile off shore. Three major currents converge during the winter and if things are right, they rival breakers in South Africa and Hawaii.
Named for the dog of one of the early surfers of these behemoths, the site is the home to a huge invitational surf championship. Being less than an hour from San Francisco and San Jose, the site is a “top drawer” location for the big boys of surfing. Because it runs from January thru March 31, it’s unknown just when the competition will occur. Surfers check an internet alert system to allow them time to arrive if conditions are getting good.
In 2011 and this year, the waters didn’t yield much. This year's contest was called off last week. Disappointing. Since spectators are placed in harms way because of rouge waves and a cliff side that has been known to collapse, no spectators at all were allowed this year. Men have died in this contest. Instead, the first Mavericks Festival, was held outdoors on the grounds of the Oceana Hotel & Spa in Princeton Harbor, Half Moon Bay. Followers were to meet up for fun and meet the winners. But bad weather soaked the area and turnout was low. The $35 door price may have been a factor.
I attended Mavericks one year when the public was allowed and I could not see much as the contestants were so far out. This year not even remote TV screens were set up. Oh well, 2013 is just around the corner. Hang 10.