Twenty-four elite surfers from across the globe have been given the green light to head for Pillar Point near Half Moon Bay for the Body Glove Mavericks Invitational surf contest. The first heat is scheduled to take place at 8 a.m. Friday.
The contest call was initially put on hold Wednesday morning due to possible strong winds Friday. But later news of a large west swell allowed for the thumbs-up.
Contest Director Jeff Clark said waves upward of 40 feet tall are anticipated.
“This is going to be a powerful and memorable swell,” Clark said in a statement.
San Francisco surfer Grant Washburn, a longtime Mavericks competitor, is among the invited participants, along with San Franciscan Ryan Seelbach. Washburn called this year’s list of big-wave riders “incredible,” adding that the forecasted massive swell should give the surfers more of a challenge than usual.
“This is sort of my home break, so I’m feeling really good,” he said.
Under a partnership with Universal Sports Network, the event finals will be broadcast live on TV for the first time in contest history.
For public safety and environmental protection, all roads to Pillar Point, including access to the beach and bluffs, will be closed off. Spectators can also catch the show on big screens as part of a viewing festival along the coast.