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The Wait Continues: Mavericks Challenge

With the North Pacific storm activity increasing, hopes are rising for a successful running of the Mavericks Challenge, which is now part of the World Surf League's Big Wave Tour. As a result, the event roster will be a much more blended mix of big-wave chargers from around the world.

Earlier this week Mike Parsons, the Big Wave Tour Commissioner, put the event on Yellow Alert for swell expected early next week, but on Saturday morning, after monitoring the forecast the waiting game will continue.

"After much research and analysis into the forecasts, we are calling the WSL Big Wave Tour Mavericks Challenge OFF for Tuesday, January 16," said Parsons. "We are specifically concerned about the S, SSW winds that are projected to come in on Tuesday morning. There is also potential for NW winds to come in. The models are showing a slight decrease in the swell size, as well. We still have the rest of January and all of February to get a better opportunity to run the Mavericks Challenge and will continue to closely track the conditions to hopefully run this season."

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.

When: Between Now and 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.

Event site: Mavericks Challenge
Event site: Women's Mavericks Challenge

Full Mavericks Challenge men's and women's invitee list
More on the invitees to the Women's Mavericks Challenge

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, which is 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:
North Pacifica
Winters Tavern 1522 Francisco Blvd, Pacifica 650-355-6162
Middle Pacifica
Longboard Margarita Bar 180 Eureka Square, Pacifica 650-738-5905
South Pacifica
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

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