World-renowned Mavericks big-wave surf contest to be held Sunday


January 16, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
The world-renowned Mavericks Invitational surf contest near Half Moon Bay will be held this Sunday beginning at 8 a.m.

Contest organizers have been studying an approaching swell that bodes well for creating contest conditions, Clark said.

"The way this storm has telegraphed and what it's going to do, I think we'll be able to make the call this afternoon -- and it looks promising," Clark said.

Exactly 24 of the most skilled surfers from around the world have been selected to participate in the big-wave surfing contest, which takes place one half mile off the coast of Half Moon Bay at the Mavericks break.

Contest conditions are extreme, with waves in past years as high as 50 feet, strong currents, frigid water and jagged rocks. Contestants are given just 24 hours' notice to arrive to the coast ready to compete.

The contest was canceled last year because Mother Nature failed to produce perfect conditions, Clark said. But this year might prove different.

"We're really excited that we actually have a swell," Clark said. "This is the biggest swell we've had for a couple years."

When asked how high the waves could be from this swell, Clark immediately responded "big."

"We're hoping for at least 30-foot range, but the ocean does what it wants and it's not going to give you that perfect storm every year," he said.

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