Actor Jonny Weston Surfs into Town for 'Chasing Mavericks'

'Chasing Mavericks' star Jonny Weston visits Half Moon Bay High School and Mavericks Surf Shop Monday, signing autographs, giving away a surfboard — and declining to remove his shirt when asked by a young lady!

Jonny Weston came to Half Moon Bay Monday to promote his movie "Chasing Mavericks." The movie about surfer Jay Moriarty filmed last year here in Half Moon Bay opens in theaters this Friday.

Weston spoke to an enthusiastic audience at Half Moon Bay High School. Relatively new to the movie industry, he talked about the mentorship he has received from seasoned actors like Gerard Butler. Weston encouraged students to ask for help when they need to and seeking out a mentor is not a weakness.

Weston also thanked Half Moon Bay for their hospitality while the movie was filmed.

Students were allowed to ask questions. The first was: "Do you have a girlfriend?"

"No" was the answered followed by a chorus of screams.

One young lady in the audience at the high school rally asked Weston to remove his shirt. He declined.

When asked how he prepared for the role, he related time spent with Moriarty's wife and the stories told by her and surfer Frosty Hesson, a former lifeguard and collegiate swimmer, about Jay's life.

Weston said he did most of his own stunts in the movie, including surfing all but the largest waves at Mavericks.

After signing autographs at the high school, Weston went to Mavericks Surf Shop for press interviews, more autographs and posing for pictures with fans.

Mavericks Surf Shop owners Jeff and Cassandra Clark hosted the “Chasing Mavericks” Meet & Greet event. Surfers, Jeff Clark fans and gaggles of teenage girls lined up to meet Weston.

“We have a shop full of teenage girls to meet Jonny Weston. This is a new experience,” said Cassandra.

Weston signed autographs, gave away “Chasing Mavericks” posters, posed for lots of photos, and handed out passes to a screening of the movie in San Francisco.

"I saw the movie yesterday and thought it was great. There’s amazing footage of Mavericks,” said Jeff.

Everyone who attended the Mavericks Surf Shop event was entered into a drawing to win the Pearson Arrow surfboard — a Jay Moriarty board replica — that was used in the movie.

Weston pulled the winning raffle number out of a bucket at the end of the event and announced El Granada resident Hana Lani Hanson, a Half Moon Bay High student, as the winner of the Jay big wave gun, which Weston signed. Congratulations Hana for winning the Jay board!

 — Additional reporting by Christa Bigue

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