The men's and women's rosters for the 2018 Mavericks Challenge were finalized on Wednesday, the same day the World Surf League got final approval from the Coastal Commission to open the event window on January 3, 2018. The newest addition to the Big Wave Tour will feature 30 of the best and bravest surfers in the world. The field of 24 men and 6 women will take on California's premier big-wave venue for their piece of the $130,000 purse.
"The addition of Mavericks on this year's Big Wave Tour will ensure that the tour has the three most challenging big waves on the planet with Pe'ahi, Nazaré and now Mavericks," said Mike Parsons, WSL BWT Commissioner. "Mavericks is the most challenging big wave on the west coast and is unique in how intense and steep the takeoff is."
As with all Big Wave Tour events, the 24-man field for the men is comprised of the Top 10 finishers of the 2016/2017 BWT season, 6 local event wildcards, 3 Big Wave Tour wildcards, 1 injury wildcard, and the Top 4 Surfline Overall Performance of the Year Award recipients. Here's how that list breaks down.
WSL Big Wave Tour Top 10:
Grant Baker, Pedro Calado, Greg Long, Jamie Mitchell, Billy Kemper, Nic Lamb, Will Skudin, João De Macedo, Cristian Merello, Kai Lenny
Big Wave Award Performers:
Lucas Chianca, Francisco Porcella, Tom Lowe, Peter Mel
Local Mavericks Wildcards:
Travis Payne, Tyler Fox, Anthony Tashnick, Ben Andrews, Jason Stark, Pat Shaughnessy
Big Wave Tour Wildcards
Three surfers to be announced upon Green Light
Performer of the Year Alternates Nathan Florence, Alex Botelho, Jojo Roper
Local Mavericks Alternates Ben Wilkinson, Nathan Fletcher, Ryan Seelbach, Matt Becker, Colin Dwyer, Luca Padua
Like The Pe'ahi Challenge on Maui, The Mavericks Challenge will also feature a women's division. "Having the addition of the Mavericks event on the Big Wave Tour is a huge thing for the men and women," said Paige Alms, two-time winner of the Pe'ahi Challenge. "It's going to be an amazing opportunity to see another big wave spot, one of the best in the world, and have an empty lineup with the best surfers, best conditions and the best waves." Alms will face three new faces at Mavericks, with local standouts Sarah Gerhardt, Bianca Valenti and Emily Erickson all entering the fold.
"It was only a matter of time for the women," says Nic Lamb, who won the last event held at Mavericks in 2016. "I couldn't be more excited to watch. Mavericks is the crown jewel of Big Wave surfing and the tour."
Women's Mavericks Challenge Invitees
Paige Alms, Keala Kennelly, Justine Dupont, Bianca Valenti, Sarah Gerhardt, Emily Erickson
Jamilah Star, Andrea Moller, Wrenna Delgado