After a two-year absence, the Mavericks Invitational Northern California's legendary big-wave contest will be held Sunday at the famous surf break on the northern edge of Half Moon Bay.
"A big storm is coming in (from Alaska) and we're expecting waves upwards of 30 feet or more," said contest founder Jeff Clark. "The weather is supposed to be gorgeous. It looks like perfect conditions."
Surf forecaster Mark Sponsler added, "A strong storm is producing 60-foot seas (and) a solid, very long period swell.
This is looking like the best opportunity we've had in quite a few years with great conditions for running the contest."
Two dozen elite surfers will come from as far as South Africa, Australia and Brazil. The first heat will start at 8 a.m. Sunday, with the finals at 12:30 p.m.
Among the surfers expected to compete are past winners Greg Long, Anthony Tashnick, Grant Baker and Chris Bertish. In addition, 11-time world surf champion Kelly Slater may make it.
After 13 spectators were injured by rogue waves at the last Mavericks contest in 2010, no fans will be allowed on the beach Sunday to watch. Instead, they are invited to attend a special surf festival at the nearby Oceano Hotel at Princeton Harbor, where they can watch the action live on big screens and meet the competitors after their heats. Tickets are $10 online, $20 at the gate.
The contest also will be webcast live and free online. For tickets or to watch the webcast, click on Mavericksinvitational.com.
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