Founder of Half Moon Bay's Maverick's surf contest wins legal battle 

Maverick’s founder Jeff Clark has won a legal battle against the organizers of the world-famous Half Moon Bay surf contest who fired him in 2009.

Clark filed suit in January 2010 against Mavericks Surf Ventures, which he co-founded, alleging organizers breached their contract with him, failed to pay him, publicly disparaged him “as part of an effort to seize control” of the contest, and wrongfully fired him.

The parties negotiated an agreement in March 2010 requiring the company to compensate Clark, but he filed another lawsuit in September claiming the company failed to honor the agreement.

San Francisco Superior Court Judge Peter Busch signed an order July 14 in favor of Clark, saying Clark had “presented uncontroverted evidence” that Mavericks Surf Ventures had breached the agreement. The order requires payments to Clark totaling $625,000 through 2017.

Clark had no immediate comment on the decision, according to a spokeswoman.

However, the owner of Maverick’s Surf Shop announced at a San Mateo County Harbor Commission hearing in June that he intends to seek a permit for the contest most recently operated by Maverick’s Family LLC, a group that includes Clark’s ex-wife, Katherine Kelly Clark.

The contest is scheduled annually, featuring 24 of the world’s best surfers, who are called to the site 48 hours in advance when the appropriate conditions arise.

aburack@sfexaminer.com

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