Excitement for Mavericks ramping up in Bay Area

Wednesday, February 10, 2016
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The Titans of Mavericks surf contest is just two days away and the excitement from fans, surfers, and even rescue crews is ramping up.

HALF MOON BAY, Calif. (KGO) -- The Titans of Mavericks surf contest is just two days away and the excitement from fans, surfers, and even rescue crews is ramping up. They say they're ready for both the surfers and the big crowds.

It wasn't Mavericks-sized waves at Linda Mar Beach in Pacifica Wednesday morning. Heck, to some of the 50 or so surfers out in the water, those were barely considered waves.

"Flat for winter, but it's fun," said surfer Jesse Biroscak. "That's why I'm here."

RELATED: Rescue crews practice in Half Moon Bay ahead of Mavericks

But big waves are coming -- Mavericks has been called for Friday.

"I'm excited to watch, it will be fun to spectate," said surfer Cody Curran. She added with a laugh, "I will probably not be in the water for Mavericks, no."

Mavericks is also the busiest day of the year for the Pillar Point Harbor Patrol.

ABC7 News was on the water of Half Moon Bay in October when they organized with other rescue crews from the Coast Guard, CAL Fire, state parks, and the Titans of Mavericks water rescue team for the big wave contest.

Just last month, we got a preview of the real thing. Huge waves were breaking at Mavericks on Jan. 7, and world-renowned big wave surfer Garrett McNamara wiped out, breaking his arm.

RELATED: Surfer talks about wipeout on massive wave at Mavericks

Deputy Harbormaster Cary Smith helped treat McNamara that day and says they're ready for what comes their way Friday.

"So we'll be prepared and we'll have ambulances on standby for the athletes and anybody else who would happen to need their services," he said.

Many of the athletes competing at Mavericks are in Hawaii. The big surf contest known as "The Eddie" was supposed to take place Wednesday, but it was cancelled in the morning. Organizers say the swell wasn't big enough.

However, don't expect that decision to change anything here.

"I think it's going to still be big, solid," said Smith. "And hopefully this one that missed Hawaii is coming right for us."

The beach and cliff around Mavericks will be closed to the public on Friday. Many restaurants around Half Moon Bay, including the Half Moon Bay Brewing Company, will be streaming the event live on their televisions.

The window for the world famous Mavericks surfing contest opens up Nov. 1 and goes through March 31, 2016. When the call goes out, 24 of the best conditioned big wave surfing professionals will take on the mountains of water that can reach up to 60 feet high. The last contest was held in 2014.

Click here for details on the upcoming competition.