The Mavericks Invitational has the green light. After the disappointment of the cancelled Eddie, big-wave lovers will be frothing to hear that the forecast has been scrutinised for Friday, January 24, and deemed it sufficient for a day of top class competition.
The Northern Hemisphere phase of the Big Wave World Tour kicked off in fine fashion, with Twiggy claiming victory at the Punta Galea Challenge, and things are only set to get better with a solid swell forecast for the crown jewel of the Tour. “This is going to be a powerful and memorable swell," said Jeff Clark, the Mavericks Invitational Contest Director. "We are looking at waves upwards of 40 feet.”
Magicseaweed forecaster, Ben Freeston, has this to say about the forthcoming swell: "Interestingly this years contest falls only days apart from the date of last year's event, and like 2013 the swell is not quite a typical big wave beast. Where we'd typically look at swells in the 16ft@16 second range, requiring a relatively nearby storm, on both of the last two years the contest has been called on much more distant, longer period swells.
"The results last year, with a clean 7-8ft@19 seconds, were both inconsistency and somewhat modest size against the benchmark set by the spot. This years exceptional swell maintains that long period but adds almost 50% to the size in the 10-11ft range. Given our forecast model has already validated well by satellite, and at the wave buoys in Hawaii, it'd be reasonable to expect the breaking wave heights to mirror this increase in swell size, albeit still with those slightly longer intervals typical of these more distant swells. With light offshore winds, sunny skies and that swell peaking during the day, it looks like a great call for competition."
Once again, access to nearby beaches and bluffs has been prohibited due to safety reasons. Fans wanting to get as close as possible to the action will be herded towards the grounds of the Oceano Hotel & Spa in Princeton Harbour, where big screens a "contest festival" await. Not quite the rush of watching forty foot beasts explode while stood on a windswept bluff, but at least there's a barbecue planned.
US viewers who choose to stay at home will be able, for the first time, to watch the event live on TV, on the Universal Sports Network. The rest of us will make do with the free webcast.
The 24 Mavericks Invitational Competitors:
Ryan Augenstein (Santa Cruz, CA)
Grant Baker (South Africa)
Chris Bertish (South Africa)
Carlos Burle (Brazil)
Kohl Christensen (Hawaii)
Ken Collins (Santa Cruz, CA)
Shawn Dollar (Santa Cruz, CA)
Shane Dorian (Hawaii)
Colin Dwyer (Pacifica, CA)
Nathan Fletcher (San Clemente, CA)
Tyler Fox (Aptos, CA)
Mark Healey (Hawaii)
Nic Lamb (Santa Cruz, CA)
Greg Long (San Clemente, CA)
Rusty Long (San Clemente, CA)
Alex Martins (Brazil)
Peter Mel (Santa Cruz, CA)
Ryan Seelbach (San Francisco, CA)
Jamie Sterling (Hawaii)
Anthony Tashnick (Santa Cruz, CA)
Grant Washburn (San Francisco, CA)
Dave Wassell (Hawaii)
Ben Wilkinson (Australia)
Zach Wormhoudt (Santa Cruz, CA)
Shane Desmond (Santa Cruz, CA)
Danilo Couto (Brazil)
Derek Dunfee (San Diego, CA
Kelly Slater (Cocoa Beach, FL)
Tyler Smith (Santa Cruz, CA)
Frank Solomon (South Africa)