Update 12/1 11:55 a.m.: Mavericks Invitational issued a correction to the list of invited contest alternates originally released to the public. This list has been updated.
Originally planned to run from Dec. 1 until Feb. 28, the window for Half Moon Bay's highly anticipated Mavericks surfing contest will be postponed until next year, announced today.
“By this time of year, we usually have the chance to get out there and surf, get the cobwebs off so to speak," Clark said. "But there hasn’t been any and now we’re getting into the holidays, which is always a black-out period for the contest.”
One of the most famous surf breaks in the world, Mavericks is located less than a mile past Pillar Point Harbor just outside of Half Moon Bay.
The contest window will now run from Jan. 1 - Mar. 31, 2012, meaning that it can be held at any time during this period. The window ensures that conditions on the day of the event are befitting of the prestigious nature of the competition.
This year, the leadership for the surf contest shifted yet again when Mavericks Invitational, a group lead by Clark and four other members of its board of directors representing the business, surfing, and resident communities, from the San Mateo County Harbor Commission in September to run the contest.
“It’s a new year for our group, with a lot of positive changes and a new direction to bring this event back to the way it should be, for the surfers,” Clark said.
The group is bringing big changes to the contest this year, including a surf "festival" in the large parking lot area in front of the for spectators. It will also depart from its in favor of an unannounced outing in December that will take place when the waves are breaking at Mavericks.
“We’ll track the storms and know when a solid Mavericks swell is coming, and then we’ll put out the call to the surfers,” Clark said. “So, it’s a perfect time to have an opening ceremony, on a surf day with all the guys here doing what they love, seeing each other out there in the water, and then ending with a ceremony that includes our community. This is what it’s all about.”
Organizers say that the postponed date also allows them more time to work with the public safety agencies to plan the event, as well as coordinate the contest's on-the-water safety training for the contest's water safety patrol in conjunction with the Coast Guard and Pillar Point Harbor's Harbor Patrol.
Three-time Mavericks winner and Santa Cruz resident Darryl “Flea” Virostko will lead the water patrol team.
San Mateo County Supervisor Don Horsley will act as Honorary Chairman of the contest.
Invited competitors are essentially on call to arrive in Half Moon Bay. In previous years, competitors had only 24 hours to arrive after the call was made for the competition to begin.
Contest organizers have invited the following 24 surfers to compete at Mavericks:Chris Bertish (South Africa) 2010 contest winner Zack Wormhoudt (Santa Cruz) Shane Desmond (Santa Cruz) Mark Healey (Hawaii) Anthony Tashnick (Santa Cruz) 2005 contest winner Shawn Dollar (Santa Cruz) Ken Collins (Santa Cruz) Ryan Augenstein (Santa Cruz) Dave Wassel (Hawaii) Shane Dorian (Hawaii) Carlos Burle (Brazil) Rusty Long (San Clemente) Grant Baker (South Africa) 2006 contest winner Tyler Smith (Santa Cruz) Alex Martins (San Francisco) Nathan Fletcher (Hawaii) Peter Mel (Santa Cruz) Matt Ambrose (Pacifica) Grant Washburn (San Francisco) Jamie Sterling (Hawaii) Ryan Seelbach (San Francisco) Ben Wilkinson (Australia) Greg Long (San Clemente) 2008 contest winner Kelly Slater (Florida) 11 time world champion surfer
Invited contest alternates are: Josh Loya (Santa Cruz), Tyler Fox (Santa Cruz), Colin Dwyer (Pacifica), Nic Lamb (Santa Cruz), Danilo Couto (Brazil), Derek Dunfee (San Diego), Ben Andrews (San Francisco), Andrew Marr (South Africa), Travis Payne (Pacifica), Ion Banner (Half Moon Bay), Kohl Christensen (Hawaii), Shawn Rhodes (Pacifica), Mike Gerhardt (Santa Cruz), Garret McNamara (Hawaii), Russel Smith (Santa Cruz), Jamie Mitchel (Australia), John Bowling (San Francisco)