What: The First-Ever WSL Big Wave Contests at Mavericks
Contests have been running at Northern California's premier big-wave break since 1999, but 2018 is the first time that the World Surf League will be at the helm. It will also be the first time that women will have the opportunity to compete at the break.
Event site: Mavericks Challenge
Event site: Women's Mavericks Challenge
When: Between Now February 28
The WSL Big Wave Tour operates with event windows tailored to each spot's hemisphere and optimal season for massive swell. The window for the Mavericks event opened January 1, 2018, and closes at the end of February.
Where: Mavericks, Half Moon Bay, California
Located about 25 miles south of San Francisco, Mavericks sits just about two miles off shore from the Pillar Point Harbor, and just north of the town of Half Moon Bay, at Princeton-by-the-Sea, a small coastal village. Unfortunately shore viewing is not available for live fans due to permit restrictions. When it takes place, the Mavericks Challenge will be presented in a broadcast on www.WorldSurfLeague.com with multiple angles from the water, cliff and sky. This is the best possible way to experience this world class big wave surfing competition. See below for more.
Who: 24 Men and 6 Women
Twenty-four men will compete in the Mavericks Challenge. The invitee list is comprised of the Top 10 finishers of the 2016/2017 BWT season, 6 event wildcards, 3 BWT wildcards, 1 injury wildcard, and the Top 4 Surfline Overall Performance of the Year Award recipients. The 6 event wildcards for the Mavericks Challenge will be selected by a committee made up of Mavericks legends and experts. Six women will compete in the Women's Mavericks Challenge. The WSL Commissioner's Office worked with a local committee made up of Mavericks surfing icons to make the selection, based on the 2016 WSL Big Wave Awards, experience surfing at Mavericks, and overall big-wave experience.
How to Watch
Unfortunately, the permits issued to the WSL by the San Mateo County Harbor District and the California Coastal Commission prohibit spectators from observing the break from the nearby beaches or the overlooking bluff occupied by the US Air Force tracking station. In past years there have been serious accidents with widely reported injuries caused by high waves sweeping through previously dry areas and from rock falls from the crumbling cliff and these public safety concerns remain ongoing. Additionally, the adjacent marshlands of Pillar Point are recognized as environmentally sensitive wetlands that are home to a number of endangered species and are required as a condition of the event permits to be protected from large crowds passing nearby. Due to these governmental requirements there can be no public access allowed on contest day shoreward of the downtown Princeton-by-the-Sea area.
Where to Watch:
Winters Tavern 1522 Francisco Blvd, Pacifica 650-355-6162
Longboard Margarita Bar 180 Eureka Square, Pacifica 650-738-5905
NorCal Surf Shop 5440 Pacific Coast Hwy, Pacifica 650-738-9283
La Playa Mexican Cantina • 5460 Pacific Coast Hwy, Pacifica • 650-738-2247
North Half Moon Bay
Old Princeton Landing Public House & Grill • 460 Capistrano Rd, EG • 650-728-7098
Half Moon Bay Brewery • 390 Capistrano Rd, El Granada • 650-728-2739 Oceano Hotel and Spa 280 Capistrano Rd, El Granada • 650-726-5400
Mavericks Surf Shop 25 Johnson Pier, El Granada • 650-560-8088 (shop front parking lot)
Ketch Joanne Restaurant/Harbor Bar 17 Johnson Pier, El Granada • 650-728-3747
Half Moon Bay Boardshop • 3032 Cabrillo Hwy, Half Moon Bay • 650-726-1476
Alifano Technologies 225 Main St Half Moon Bay • 650-504-4400
Senior Coastsiders 925 Main St, Half Moon Bay • 650-726-9056
It's Italia 401 Main St, Half Moon Bay • 650-726-4444
South Half Moon Bay
Sacrilege Brewery • 730 Main St, Half Moon Bay • 650-276-7029
Cameron's Pub & Restaurant • 1410 Cabrillo Hwy S, Half Moon Bay • 650-726-7505