Stab Magazine | A Day Of Boat Slams And Mayhem At Mavericks
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A Day Of Boat Slams And Mayhem At Mavericks

“This (yesterday) morning had some of the biggest waves seen in years,” said Peter Mel.

news // Jan 21, 2018
Words by stab
Reading Time: 2 minutes

“It was like the old days,” described one ardent Maverick’s devotee. 

This week Mav’s roared to life thanks to a determined run of North Pacific energy. Thursday things were topping out well over 60 feet.

“This morning had some of the biggest waves seen in years,” testified Peter Mel, who said he was “glad to be on dry land” after surviving the ordeal. 

By Friday Mav’s was looking for scalps.

“Today we witnessed one of the biggest swells to hit Maverick’s in over ten years,” described NorCal photo ace, Doug Acton.

The drama culminated when a massive set swung wide, catching a small Boston Whaler off guard. The boat was flipped and the captain and crew promptly dumped in the cold Half Moon Bay brine. Photographer and water safety operator Frank Quirarte responded alongside Todd Turner. They were able to get the victims out of the water and onto a nearby boat. The Whaler met its end on Black Hand Reef. 

That’s when things got complicated. Lucas “Chumbo” Chianca, who had been charging out of his skull all day, finally realized it, attempted to retrieve some of his possessions floating near the sunken vessel.

“Quirarte went in to make sure Lucas didn’t get hit by the capsized boat,” continues Acton. “A bunch of the boat debris from the boat got stuck in Frank’s intake and they couldn’t go anywhere.”

Because Mav’s is one bad bitch, out of the depths lurched another gigantic set. The two ditched the ski and swam for their lives. They survived, but for all intents and purposes, Quirarte’s ski was destroyed. Plus, he lost all of his camera equipment, which is devastating considering he’s one of the best to ever shoot the place. 

By the time the sun sunk into the sea everyone was able to breathe a sigh of relief. They’d all survived relatively intact. Post-session, Acton and company took it upon themselves to help Quirarte out and launched a GoFundMe page to cover the costs of the ski and the camera gear (throw a few shekels here!).

From Jaws to Maverick’s, we’ve heard the same sentiment echoed throughout this run of unusually large surf: if you surf these spots, support the water safety guys saving everyone’s lives. Here’s a chance to pay it forward.

“Those that know Frank know that he’s the real deal of being a guardian angel to those who try to challenge Mavericks, all of this without asking anything in return,” notes Acton. “I know, because I’ve seen it first-hand. He would probably not be that stoked on asking for a hand-out so I’ll do it for him and will gladly take the wrath.”  

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