The Maverick’s Event Will Not Run On Monday – Peter Mel Explains Why
Tuesday and Thursday remain viable options for the BWT.
The WSL’s Big Wave Tour has gotten off to a rapid start in 2018, already finishing two of their three annual events in the first couple months of the season.
Nazare provided clean walls and an ample amount of peaks for its competitors, leading to an incredible 10-point ride from Spain’s Natxo Gonzales and a major victory for ZAF’s Grant ‘Twiggy’ Baker.
Just two weeks later, a massive swell filtered toward Hawaii and create huge surf at Pe’ahi, so huge, in fact, that despite two decade-defiining rides by Billy Kemper and Grant Baker in the opening hear, the BWT opted to postpone the contest until the significantly smaller second day. Billy Kemper walked away victorious.
Now just three weeks after Jaws, an absolute behemoth of a swell is gaining energy on its way across the Pacific, and it looks perfectly positioned to deliver waves to Maverick’s, the final stop of the 2018/19 BWT season.
However, according to ABC 7 news in California, this swell might be too big to run the Maverick’s Challenge.
Half Moon Bay Sport Fishing, who runs boat tours for the big wave surf contest, told ABC7 News in an e-mail Thursday night that organizers informed them that the contest will not happen Monday.
They did say that organizers are looking at possibly holding the contest on Tuesday or Thursday of next week, and that the organizers would give an update midday on Friday.
Surfline, the official surf forecaster for the Mavericks Challenge, projects that the infamous surf break just outside Pillar Point Harbor will see waves between 40 to 60 feet tall and that some could even be above 65 feet.
Surfline called it “the kind of swell we only see around three times a decade.”
Stab wanted to know if this was indeed true, so we messaged Maverick’s legend, former Big Wave World Champion, ex-Commissioner and current commentator on the BWT, Mr. Peter Mel, to give us the pertinent info.
Was it true that they wouldn’t run on Monday? And what does it mean for Maverick’s to be “too big”?
“It’s more about the safety of the masses of boats,” Pete told us. “The channel going out of the harbor can close out. It’s really dangerous with bigger boats. Also, the winds are really strong the night before. No time for it to clean up. It’ll be super chunky. Waves breaking outside of the main bowl. They’re super random where they break, so would be very difficult to line one up. If you remember the swell that myself and Chumbo tried to paddle early this year, I tried for several hours to get one, with no luck. It would be very limited waves ridden. Although, I’m ready to give it a try again if it cleans up.”
To the arm-chair observer, and there are many of them, it might seem strange and even ironic that the Big Wave Tour has, on multiple occasions, chosen to pass up on certain swells this year because they are “too big”. But “too big” doesn’t quite cover it. There are also winds to take into consideration, surface conditions, operational logistics, and most importantly the safety of any and everyone in the water on the day of competition – that includes boat drivers, spectators, camera men, safety crew, and of course the actual competitors.
While big wave surfing, as surfing in general, can never be 100% safe, the WSL is doing its best to provide a secure and exciting platform for the world’s best big wave surfers to show their stuff. With real human lives hanging in the balance, it’s never gonna be easy for the WSL to choose the “right” day to run an event – especially when BWT competitors are paddling out anyways on those huge days, regardless of whether the comp is called on or off.
So, they’re doing their best. And luckily for the WSL, Tuesday and Thursday of the same week look promising to actually run the Maverick’s event. We asked Pete Mel what he thought.
“I like both days. We will have to see. Interval on Thursday seems to last a bit longer through the day. Such a hard call.”
Such is the way of surfing, and big wave surfing in particular. Here’s hoping for that Goldilocks window.
Donald Brink and Matt Biolos Win Mick Fanning’s Electric Acid Surfboard Test
And we had a party in Oceanside to celebrate.
Kanoa Igarashi and Kirra Pinkerton Answer Call Of Duty, Win Medals Of Honor In 2022 ISA World Games
Teams Japan, USA, and France move into Victor’s Village.
The Best Euro Surf Trips That Mightn’t Be On Your Radar
Want to know which less-trodden nation offers the most potential?
Former CT Surfer Chris Davidson Passes Away At Age 45
A radical life tragically ends outside a bar in New South Wales.
The Team Ukraine Interview
“There are mines near the shore, and already a lot of people have died…so it’s…
Mormaii Founder Raided By Brazilian Feds On Suspicion Of Plotting Against Democracy
Curiously, he's the second surf brand founder to become entangled in a political scandal of…
The Electric Acid Surfboard Test With Mick Fanning, Episode 4
There are three boards left. Which one is Mick taking home?
Photos: Welcome To Vans Stab High Indonesia, Presented By Monster Energy
Welcome to Lakey Peak. Now do airs.
Taro Watanabe Is The Love Child Of Your Favorite 80’s Surfers
Watch his new edit 'Sonic Youth' now.
The Four-Finned, Carbon-Wrapped, Vacuum-Bagged Board That Won The 2022 World Title
The minds behind Sharp Eye and Dark Arts break down Filipe's winning plank.
Selema Masekela Discusses The New Film “Sweet Adventure,” A New Love For El Salvador and His Not-So-New Music Career
"It's literally the entirety of my life coming full circle in a way that I…
Does The 1-to-6 Foot Surfboard Exist?
Pushing the Channel Islands NeckBeard 3 to its absolute limits in a new Joyride review.
Life Comes At You Fast — So Does This Hectic Indo Clip
Finn McGill and a full-speed stint in Southeast Asia
Interview: Afghanistan Surf Champion Afridun Amu
From refugee to constitutional lawyer to university lecturer to Afghan surfing icon.
Bong Make ‘Another Good Call’ By Poaching Stab Cinematographer For West Oz Clip
Shut up, is that Occy doing punts?!