Mavericks Surfing Championship
Half Moon Bay
March 2, 2005

It's awesome to be anywhere close to the breaking waves in the one mile stretch south of Pillar Point going to Half Moon Bay - our Memorial Day I-36 Cruise destination. Years ago, Kindred Spirits had an encounter with a young seal that damaged their prop strut in these waters, and it's always critical to stay seaward of the green buoys - or you'll wind up on the rocks.

But these waters were on the local, and maybe national, news today with the annual Mavericks Surfing contest - often called the Super Bowl of Surfing. On 24 hour notice the best surfers in the world fly in to compete. The prediction was for breakers running bigger than 20 feet, and it looks like that happened. A local boy, Anthony Tashnick from Santa Cruz, won the $25,000 first prize - he said he was going to spend a bunch of it throwing a party in Santa Cruz tonight!

Your trusty webmaster lugged camera and dog down to the beach for some shots - though the view from water level is quite limited. The surfing is actually a half mile offshore, but beachside is a "happening" in California parlance.

TV reported about 15,000 people along the shore, and I'm sure there were at least an additional 150 dogs - Teak was counting - plus a complete assortment of babies, strollers, pregnant women, and spectators of all ages and persuasions.

Though there were brief moments when you could see black stick figures amidst the white foam, we didn't capture any photos of them. But you can get a feel for the event with these pictures. At the bottom are some links to other coverage of the event. On April 24th, NBC TV is scheduled to air a feature on the contest.

Rick Van Mell




[Click to enlarge]
It's a long walk to the point
[Click to enlarge]
Here you choose to go up
or to the beach
[Click to enlarge]
People are perched on cliffs!
[Click to enlarge]
Cameras at the ready!
[Click to enlarge]
Elevation is hard to come by!
[Click to enlarge]
All eyes seaward
[Click to enlarge]
It looks calm at times!
[Click to enlarge]
It doesn't look big until...
[Click to enlarge]
A massive wave rolls in
[Click to enlarge]
Hard to believe there are boats
and surfers out there!
[Click to enlarge]
Wanna sit on....
[Click to enlarge]
the rock?
[Click to enlarge]
Note the sailboat outside the breakers.
[Click to enlarge]
Here's one to ride!
[Click to enlarge]
Pretty ... but awsome!
[Click to enlarge]
Part of the 15,000 watching...
[Click to enlarge]
Some of the rest.
[Click to enlarge]
Staff & fans wait for big sets
[Click to enlarge]
Can we go home now?

Other Links:

Official Mavericks web site: http://www.maverickssurf.com (Requires Macromedia Flash)

San Jose Mercury News story on March 3, 2005: Mercury Story