Surfers hit El Nino fueled waves at Mavericks in Half Moon Bay

Friday, January 8, 2016
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With a High Surf Advisory in effect, world-class surfers hit the waves at Mavericks in Half Moon Bay.

HALF MOON BAY, Calif. (KGO) -- Even though it's not raining right now, we're still feeling the effects of El Nino. A High Surf Advisory is in effect, and it's drawing lots of surfers to the coast trying to catch some big waves.

VIDEO: Dangerous high surf pounds Bay Area beaches

World-class surfer Frank Solomon and his equally skilled friends ventured into the Mavericks break on Thursday. They were ready for world-class waves in their upcoming world championship.

But when?

"It comes down to following the weather for three or four days," said surf contest organizer Jeff Clark. "Then it gets down to two days out, and then we make the call."

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

Clark is the man who does it.

He started the Titans of Mavericks Surf Contest in 1998 and has ridden the unruly waves of surfing and business. Now, in the wake of El Nino storms, his contestants are gathering.

Those who like to watch the surfers also lined the cliff on Thursday. What they saw flirted at the intersection of sport and danger.

The 60 foot waves came in way too choppy and injured at least one person on a boat and also surfer Garrett McNamara, who holds the record for largest wave ever ridden.

He's okay, after he left in an ambulance.

"They don't know if he tore a rotator cuff or just pulled the muscle off the bone," said Clark.

So no, it's not just another desk day at the office.