Mavericks Surfers Test The Waters As Contest Window Opens

HALF MOON BAY (KCBS) — The high surf advisory in effect for most of Friday was music to the ears of Mavericks Surf Contest competitors as world class big wave surfers, here for the contest’s opening ceremony, were treated to the coast’s biggest waves so far of the season.

Ben Wilkinson flew out from Sydney, Australia and was excited to get into waves as high as 50 feet. He talked about the importance of testing the waters.

“It’s always good to experience different swell angles and wind conditions because you never know what the contest day is going to bring,” he said.

Three time Mavericks winner Darryl Virotsko of Santa Cruz called the now world famous surf spot intense when it gets this big.

KCBS’ Anna Duckworth Reports:

“It’s amazing. I never really thought I could see these kinds of waves in California.”

When Virotsko saw Mavericks for the first time in 1991, he said he was in disbelief.

While the competitors don’t make light of the power of the surf break just north of Half Moon Bay on days like this, they agree the camaraderie in the water among competitors who travel the world to ride big waves makes the challenge even more fun.

“It is a big party. Everybody’s just happy to see one another. Sometimes you haven’t seen somebody for a couple of years,” Virotsko said.

The window for the Mavericks contest is open so it can be called anytime between now and March 31st with a 24-hour notice.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed)

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