© 2008 Shawn

Mavericks Big Wave Surfing Contest

As I drove down Great Highway on the way to Half Moon Bay, I could see that the swell was looking good (and big). There was hardly any breeze. And the sun was out.

I parked at the airport and rode the shuttle bus out to Pigeon Point. Before heading to the beach, I hiked up the cliff to get an overview. At 8:30, people were already packed along the cliff. The break was along way off and the only way to get a good view was through a strong pair of binoculars. Down on the beach, the organizers had set up a big monitor showing and announcing all the action from the first heats.

Mavericks as viewed from the Pillar Point bluffs

There were 38 people on my boat tour aboard a 45 ft. fishing boat. We cruised out of the harbor, around the reef, and then out to the lineup. The harbor patrol had set up two buoys marking a line that all motorized spectator boats must stay behind. Waverunners and kayaks were allowed to get in closer.


The view from the boat was amazing and really made you feel like you were in the lineup with the surfers.

Mavericks wave

surfer Tyler Smith makes the drop at mavericks

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