Local favorite Peter Mel from Santa Cruz named winner of Mavericks Invitational


Surf fans were out in force on Sunday. More than 30,000 people showed up to watch the big competition. SKY7 HD was overhead as more than two dozen of the world's top surfers gathered to catch some big waves.

The competition kicked off with a thrilling ride on a 25 foot wave Sunday morning by world class surfer Ken Collins. This is the eighth anniversary of the event which drew 24 A-list surfers from around the world.

Thomas Feder who owns a surf board repair shop in France traveled to the Bay Area to bask in the Mavericks experience, "I came to California to see where surfing comes from, to see the place where all the famous names are," Feder said.

He wasn't alone. SKY7 HD showed the huge traffic backup on Highway 1, which brought in a huge crowd drawn by warm coastal weather. The turnout pleased and surprised organizers.

The Mavericks Festival, held at the Oceano Hotel, sold out of its 15,000 tickets in the early afternoon, disappointing people like Carol Fisher from San Jose, "We stood in the line to try to get tickets but they were sold out," Fisher said.

At the festival, spectators were able to watch surfers on a big screen. The venue sold out partly because people were not allowed on the beach or bluffs to watch this year.

It's because a rogue wave washed spectators off their feet in 2010, injuring a dozen people on the beach.

This year people filled bars and restaurants showing the competition. The Princeton Landing Bar was packed, "I got here at 6:30 this morning and there were people everywhere," spectator Lilyan Dunlop said. "Cars up and down the highway."

The swells, though not as large as expected, still provided surfers with some thrilling rides.

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