Surf Contest Permit Yanked From Longtime Mavericks Organizer

HALF MOON BAY (KCBS) – The new group selected to organize the Mavericks Surf Contest has promised to limit public access to the shore to prevent the spectator injuries that marred last year’s competition.

Fans who venture down to Pillar Point will be directed away from the beach and toward local restaurants and hotels hosting contest viewing parties, said Sally Campbell, president of the San Mateo County Harbor Commission.

“It’s a big event. It’s an important event. It’s worldwide now, and we want to go with somebody that we can trust and that, if there’s any problems, that we have somebody to go that we can talk to,” she said.

KCBS’ Holly Quan Reports:

The Half Moon Bay Surf Group was awarded the permit on Wednesday for an event that can attract as many as 100,000 spectators.

Complaints from locals about crowd control became common as the event grew in popularity.

Last February, 25-foot swells combined with an incoming tide to create waves that crashed ashore and injured a dozen people who had ventured down a cliff above the beach for a clear view of the contestants.

Some blamed long time promoter Mavericks Surf Ventures, founded by surfer Jeff Clark, for not ensuring viewer safety. The new organization is run by his ex-wife, Katherine Clark Kelly.

Clark said he’s considering taking Kelly to court for trademark violations and stealing intellectual property.

The window for the contest opens on December 1.

(© 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

  • jim dadda

    Easy nobody go watch and nobody show up to surf. Jeff started the whole thing!!!

  • Playground Horsesense

    That’s right. Blame it on the promoter and don’t hold viewers accountable for their own ignorance and actions when they ignore many warning signs and proceed to the beach. It’s the new American way. No personal responsibility – sue someone else instead!!

    • michelle

      amen~! Could not agree with you more, and have some respect for where us locals live~!

  • Chris

    This contest is designed by surfers for surfers. NONE of the people that got hurt at the comp were surfers. NEVER TAKE UR EYES OFF THE OCEAN…

  • Edward

    Dumb people make it difficult for promoters and event organizers to get new ideas off the ground. There should be a sign that says “Common sense required beyond this point”, then another one following that that reads “The city, or anyone involved with the event is no longer responsible for your actions beyond this point”, “by crossing this point you are understandably agreeing not to hold the city, state, or anyone involved with the event being held, responsible for your decisions or actions”….. Think about what you are doing and be safe. —- or Something along those lines

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