HALF MOON BAY (CBS/AP) — The time window for the Mavericks big-wave surfing contest off the Northern California coast has officially opened.
Surfers and organizers on Friday planned an opening ceremony and paddle out at the break to mark the season’s opening.
Each year, wave forecasters wait for the right combination of swell and weather between early November and the end of March.
When conditions are just right, the call goes out to 24 of the world’s most daring big wave surfers, who get a day’s notice to fly to the Half Moon Bay area to compete.
The big wave break off of Pillar Point is one of the world’s most dangerous—legendary Hawaiian surfer Mark Foo died there in 1994, and in 2011 experienced waterman Sion Milosky died during a session.
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