After a prolonged battle with longtime surf contest organizer Mavericks Surf Ventures, veteran surfer and Half Moon Bay native has emerged victorious against the company he originally co-founded.
Handed down on July 14 in San Francisco County Superior Court by Judge Peter Busch, the court order requires the company to pay the surfer for damages related to its business conduct with Clark, including breached contracts, self-dealing and a failure to honor their original agreements with him.
Known the world over as the founder of the located less than a mile past Pillar Point Harbor just outside Half Moon Bay, Clark originally founded Mavericks Surf Ventures with Evolve Sports in 2003, five years after the very first contest took place.
Clark served as contest director of Mavericks Surf Ventures as well as on the company's board of directors.
In 2009, Clark was terminated as contest director, which led him to immediately resign from the board.
Clark's ousting led him to file a complaint against the company and its directors, Keir Beadling and Mark Dwight, in January 2010 for breached contracts with Clark and its shareholders, along with the withholding of payments.
Two months later, a mediated agreement required Mavericks Surf Ventures to pay Clark through the year 2017.
The company did not follow through with the agreement, which prompted Clark to file suit again and bring forth a motion for a summary judgement.
Judge Busch's order stated that there was “uncontroverted evidence that the parties had entered into a valid and enforceable contract,” and that the company had failed to honor that contract.
“When I signed on to partner with Keir and Evolve Sports, I trusted them to do the right thing, to honor my spirit and passion for surfing,” Clark said in a statement in 2010. “I made a mistake and I trusted the wrong people. They refused to honor the contracts they created and turned the contest into a circus.”
A spokeswoman for Clark said yesterday that he did not have any comment on the court order.
In June, Clark came forward and stated his interest in running this year's Mavericks Surf Contest at a meeting of the San Mateo County Harbor Commissioners where the group was set to review a bid to run the contest submitted by Mavericks Community LLC, a group led by his ex-wife Katherine Kelly Clark.
The resulted in the Commission denying the permit to Mavericks Community LLC, and delaying the decision until August. At that meeting, Jeff Clark announced that he would submit a permit application to the board for consideration at its first meeting in August.
On Wednesday at the August 3 meeting of the San Mateo County Harbor Commission, it was revealed that . As a result, Harbor District General Manager Peter Grenell asked the commissioners to consider pushing back the discussion on the Mavericks contest permit to its next meeting on August 17.
To read Half Moon Bay Patch's report of this meeting, click .