HALF MOON BAY (CBS SF) – The attention of the big wave surfers worldwide was focused Wednesday for any word on the future of the famed Titans of Mavericks surf contest.
Organizers of the annual event at the legendary Mavericks surf break near Half Moon Bay have filed for bankruptcy protection and announced Wednesday they were putting the famed contest on the auction block.
“The Chapter 11 filings by Titans of Mavericks and Cartel Management represent the culmination of a strategy designed to implement a sale of the assets and intellectual property of the companies to afford a buyer certain protections available only in bankruptcy,” the organizers said in a statement.
Griffin Guess, Titans of Mavericks founder, said the process would “allow Titans of Mavericks to reach new heights in the right hands. It is time for a larger organization to gain from all of our hard work.”
The Santa Cruz Sentinel reported that organizers — Cartel Management Inc. and Titans of Mavericks LLC — filed for Chapter 11 protection on Tuesday.
The newspaper also revealed that the organizers had been sued for $400,000 by Red Bull Media House North America for breach of contract.
Red Bull provided a sponsored digital live stream of the event.
The bankruptcy filing won’t stop perfect waves from rolling into Mavericks, but it does reveal how turbulent things became under the surface for the iconic big wave surfing contest.
Brian Overfelt has been involved with Mavericks since its humble beginnings and helped transition it into a professional organization under the sole ownership of promoter Guess and Cartel Management.
“This whole thing is a surprise and a stab in the heart to us,” said Overfelt. “We were 100 percent blindsided and totally disgusted.”
Locals like Colin Sullivan also doubt the contest will happen this year and say it might be in jeopardy long term.
“Who knows if it got too big too soon or if just the right people weren’t running it,” said Sullivan.
The inclusion of a historic women’s heat had generated a great deal of addition interest in the event this year. But organizers have already missed one of the largest swells to hit the coast in years when waves as high as 35 feet were churned up by a storm last week.