Surfers set for Mavericks vote 

The world’s best big-wave surfers will decide by 1 p.m. today whether to jump on the swell expected to hit Mavericks this weekend, or whether to let the waves roll through and wait for a better set.

A hefty swell is expected to hit the coast this weekend at the right strength and direction to light up Mavericks, California’s legendary big-wave spot a half-mile from Half Moon Bay.

However, weather forecasters warn that the waves could be hindered by wind gusts, Mavericks Surf Contest spokesman Joao DeMacedo said.

The judgment call will be made by a vote of the 24 surfers who have been invited to participate in the competition.

The contest did not happen last year because the right swell conditions did not arrive during the contest window. This year, the window opened two months early, on Nov. 1, and will last through March.

DeMacedo said surfers don’t want to jump the gun and vote to go forward if the surf won’t be ideal, but on the other hand, they don’t want to miss an opportunity.

“There is a sense that if there is the opportunity to do it, we should,” DeMacedo said. “It’s definitely a feeling that we want to seize the day.”

The surfers are consulting forecasters, buoy data and wave experts, and plan to vote by about noon today, DeMacedo said.

kworth@sfexaminer.com

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