MAVERICKS (KPIX 5) — Late Sunday afternoon, the Mavericks organizers announced that waves would be too big Monday and postponed the anticipated surfing contest until at least January.
Below is the statement from Mike Parsons, Big Wave Tour Commissioner of the World Surfing League:
“We will not be running the Mavericks Challenge this week and will wait for more optimum conditions. The wind is good and conditions will be clean, but the swell will be dropping through the day on Thursday and we won’t have the consistency we need to run an excellent event. With three months left in the waiting period, we are confident that we’ll have better opportunities to run this event this season. January is typically the best month for Mavericks so we’ll be watching things closely and hoping for a great finish to the season.”
At Mavericks, there was more wind Sunday than the big waves that have been anticipated. That is expected to change next week.
The organizers of the annual surf competition say they’re expecting some of the biggest waves in a decade.
“We’re talking in this case 50-foot waves pushing right towards the California coast,” said Stormsurf.com lead forecaster Mark Sponsler.
The Mavericks competition consistently dances on the razor’s edge between what’s daring and what’s downright dangerous. The organizers of the event said early on that the massive walls of water expected to pound the coast Monday were too big to be surfed safely.
“It’s a gladiator pit. It’s massive waves that normal people wouldn’t want any part of. And not only that, you’ve got this group of guys who want to surf it with style and grace. It’s like dancing on water,” said Sponsler.
The promise and spectacle of big waves drew crowds of the curious to the coast, hoping for some of the biggest waves for the annual competition in a decade.
“Anything that’s out of the ordinary particularly if it’s dangerous, it attracts people,” said Larry Wyman, a beachgoer.
“We really haven’t had competitions with the really big waves in the last few years. There’s been some nice days, some decent waves. But none of the really large waves—the 40-footers,” said Bill Hogan.
“That’s the thin margin they working where they’re doing this dance between looking graceful and almost dying at the same time,” said Sponsler.