HALF MOON BAY, Calif. (KGO) --This year's Mavericks Big Wave Surf Contest may be in jeopardy. ABC7 News has learned the competition's organizers Cartel Management Inc. and Titans of Mavericks LLC filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Tuesday.
Documents show that the company has more than $1.8 million in estimated liabilities, with less than $1 million in assets.
LINK: Bankruptcy documents filed by Mavericks organizers
Members of the surfing community say they were blindsided.
"There was definitely some confusion people were frustrated because conditions were perfect. It was ideal on Thursday and everyone was here and it was a beautiful day. Yeah, there was some concern but there wasn't any direct communication so we really didn't know," said Michelle Cleave, who is a close friend of the founder of the Mavericks competition.
The Titans of Mavericks surf competition was started by surf legend Jeff Clark in 1998.
PHOTOS: Mavericks big wave surf competition 2016
A person close to the Mavericks contest operations tells ABC7 News Cartel Management Inc. handles marketing and sponsorship but eventually took over permits as well. ABC7 News learned that Clark and others who run the actual contest haven't spoken to Cartel Management Inc. in months.
Despite the bit of chaos behind the scenes, Cleave says she's optimistic about the future of the surf competition.
"It won't go away. There are years that it didn't happen because the weather didn't cooperate so it's definitely here to stay," said Cleave.
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