HALF MOON BAY (CBS SF) – Thousands of people gathered at local hotels and restaurants at Pillar Point Harbor near Half Moon Bay to watch big-name surfers tackle monster waves at the Mavericks Invitational 2014 Friday.
When the foam settled, South African, Grant “Twiggy” Baker took home the title for the 2nd time after taking the title in 2006. Hawaiian Shane Dorian came in second in his first Mavericks contest withRyan Augenstein of Santa Cruz coming in third. Fellow Californians Tyler Fox of Aptos, Greg Long of San Clemente and Anthony Tashnick of Santa Cruz rounded out the six surfers who made the finals.
Besides South Africa, surfers came in from places as far away as Brazil and Australia to compete in the big wave competition that began at 8 a.m. Friday and didn’t conclude until a final heat around 2 p.m. The 30 to nearly 40-foot waves made for ideal conditions for the 24 contestants in total.
“It’s gonna be not necessarily us surfing against each other, it’s gonna be us surfing against Mother Nature,” said last year’s winner, Peter Mel of Santa Cruz before hitting the water. “I’m going to have a lot of confidence coming into it.” Mel has already advanced to the semifinals this year.
Baker was already in the water, but earlier had told a KCBS reporter that he loves to compete at the location.
“Maverickls has been very good to me. I came here as an unknown in 2006 and managed to win the contest. From there I got sponsored, I got to travel the world,” he said.
This year there is no access to beaches or cliffs after a rogue wave knocked down spectators from bleachers that had been set up at the 2010 Mavericks. A viewing party is being held at the nearby Oceana Hotel with jumbotron video screens.