What: The 2018/19 Mavericks Challenge
Contests have been running at Northern California's premier big-wave break since 1999, but it wasn't until 2018 that the World Surf League was at the helm.
When: Between Now and March 31
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 November 1, 2018, and closes at the end of March.
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 Facebook.com/wsllive, www.WorldSurfLeague.com and on the WSL App with multiple angles from the water, cliff and sky.
Who: 24 Men and 10 Women
In the men's division, 24 competitors are divided into four heats of six surfers for the first round. Heats are generally 45 minutes and surfers may catch as many waves as they wish with a panel of five judges scoring each ride on a scale of 1 to 10. The women's division runs on a similar format with 10 competitors participating in two five-surfer Semifinals with the top three in each advancing to their Final.
How to Watch:
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
Miramar Beach Restaurant • 131 Mirada Rd Half Moon Bay • (650) 726-9053
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