Bay Area

Mavericks surf competition could happen next week

HALF MOON BAY (KRON) -- The organizers of the Maverick’s Surf Contest are nearing a decision on when the big wave competition off the coast of Half Moon May will be held.

“The excitement level is so great that I'm a little jittery,” said Brian Overfelt, event manager for the Maverick’s Surf Contest.

Overfelt spent much of his day Thursday on the phone, as officials at the World Surf League were debating whether or not to hold the big wave event on Monday -- a day where swells with 60-foot faces are being predicted.

Later on Thursday, they decided against holding the competition Monday. 

The event manager say they will consider if the conditions will be right to hold the competition Tuesday or Thursday next week. 

The water off the coast of Pillar Point can be a treacherous arena.

“They are up against mother nature sending massive swells from the pacific, thru that canyon. Monday’s the kind of day that's extremely dangerous where it holds you on the bottom for a long time anything can happen,” said Jeff Clark, a longtime organizer of the competition.

Clark ran the invitational for years starting in 1999.

This year the contest will make history, because it won't just be men riding those mountain size waves -- women will be competing for the first time.  

“I want to see them surf them. I wanna see them make waves,” said Clark.

Overfelt says he’s spotted some of those women out practicing at the famous surf spot.

“I saw Andrea and Bianka the other day surfing big Mavericks just the other day they're into this as much as anyone their commitment level is right there with anybody else,” said Overfelt.

The surf isn't just dangerous for those in the water.  

Back in 2010, a rogue wave swamped the beach causing injuries of spectators.

Now, when the Maverick's Surf Contest is on, San Mateo County closes off the beach and the cliffs to the public.

Spectators are now encouraged to watch the contest online or attend watch parties at the Maverick’s Surf Shop or the Old Princeton Landing Sports Bar.

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