Stab Magazine | No Girls No Titans Of Mavs Says The California Coastal Commission
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No Girls No Titans Of Mavs Says The California Coastal Commission

Women can’t live with ’em, can’t run without ’em. 

news // Nov 5, 2016
Words by stab
Reading Time: 3 minutes

The headlines will read “Women’s competitors announced for Titans of Mavericks.” And that’s true; they have been announced. But of course behind every headline are subplots. In this case, the driver behind the headline is that there was a multiyear content extension on the table for Cartel Management, the group that runs the Mavs contest and if they didn’t comply with the California Coastal Commission and include women it was going to be a no-go.

As things are, this week the CCC granted Cartel a one-year extension but didn’t give them the farm. The application hearing mostly entailed Cassandra Clark, Jeff Clark’s wife, and Cartel’s Brian Waters offering up a 10-minute presentation explaining how they’ve included women in this year’s event and therefore deserve a multiyear permit. Word around Half Moon Bay is that they don’t let Mavs pioneer speak at these things for fear of him going rogue. Cartel also added staff photographer Nikki Brooks and surfer Shavannah Shaughnessy to the contest’s organising board, formerly known at the Committee 5…now apparently the Committee 7.

The current list of invited surfers includes: Keala Kennelly, Andrea Moller, Paige Alms, Jamilah Star, Emily Ericsson and Sarah Gerhart

There’s no question all of these women are deserving and should be in the event, but the glaring omission is local girl Bianca Valenti. In brief, she’s being given the Twiggy Baker treatment for speaking her mind about how Cartel’s handled all this. She’s had a differing of opinion with Cartel, so instead of being a shoo-in for the contest, she’s now an alternate.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/3NkJSvR2MOg

“I guess I’m ‘confused’ about the selection process of Titans of Mavericks because yesterday at the Coastal Commission hearing ‘experience at the break’ was THE most HEAVILY focused on ‘criteria,’” wrote Valenti on Facebook. “Lucky for me I log all of my sessions, and it is a lot to go through because it’s all hand written. SO FAR from last year and I recorded 22 sessions at Mavericks alone…with a total of 66 waves. This year I’ve already documented one session with four waves.”

I’m more than honoured to be invited to the Titans of Mavericks… but there is something very important missing here… Where is Bianca Valenti ???” wrote Andrea Moller on Facebook.

“It was Bianca who gave me full support to surf Mavericks every single year I went there. She was the one who hosted and taught me the safe way to surf Mavericks. This is not just a personal feeling… Maybe NO women would have been invited if it wasn’t for her fight. Politics aside, she is one of the top chargers at Mavericks .. she is the local girl who has been making a difference for all the women hungry to compete. It would be like excluding Paige Alms from a Peahi challenge… Would that be fair? I know some guys understand what I’m talking about … pioneers are excluded … with the excuse that there are better surfers ahead of them in the list… but in this case, Bianca knows those waters and has caught more waves out there than any of us. I’m here not just as a surfer, but also as someone who wants to make a difference for the next generation. Competing at Mavericks is a huge achievement for the women. But please, let’s make this fair.”

At the end of the day there will be six women surfing Mavericks for one hour with $30,000 on the line. That’s a huge step forward. But according to the women involved and the California Coastal Commission, Cartel still has  a way to go to provide “equal opportunity” for both men and women in the Titans of Mavericks contest.

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