Mavericks surf contest gets underway
By Caitlin Cassady
January 12, 2008
A north-northwest swell was bringing in sets of waves just before
9 a.m. today for the second heat of surfers at the infamous Mavericks
Surf Competition in Half Moon Bay.
Six surfers were in the water at about 8 a.m. for the first 45-minute
heat. Surfer are trying to catch at least two good waves to score
in the selection.
At the same time, surfers are trying to avoid getting smashed
against the rocks, commonly referred to as the Bone Yard, which
is located at the end of the wave break.
Contest announcers said surfers are facing difficult conditions
today, but local surfboard shaper and competitor Randy Cone said
the direction of the swell doesn't matter.
"If you wipe out you are going to get slammed," Cone
Throngs of spectators descended on a tiny beach just north of
Half Moon Bay in anticipation of the competition before it began
at 8 a.m. Surfers were in the water preparing as sets of waves
with 20-foot faces broke a few hundred yards off the beach.
There were patchy clouds at about 9 a.m. and contest organizers
said it should be a good day for a competition.
San Mateo County sheriff's deputies posted barricades warning
about the dangers of the loose, wet rocks, but a few visitors
scaled the cliff anyway in search of the perfect view.
Twenty-four of the world's best big wave surfers are competing.
They come from as far Australia, South Africa and Brazil to catch
the monster waves.
The Mavericks Surf Contest began in February 1999. Each year
the window for the contest runs for three to four months. During
that time surfers are on-call for when the "perfect"
system passes through. When that happens, competitors are given
48 hours to get to Half Moon Bay for the start of the competition.
Editor's Note: You can watch the competition live online
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