HALF MOON BAY – Many of the world's best and bravest surfers are heading toward Half Moon Bay as organizers of the legendary Maverick's Surf Contest have scheduled the big-wave event for Saturday.
Surfers were given the word this morning, said brothers and surf partners Tyler and Russell Smith of Santa Cruz.
Organizers have been waiting for high-quality conditions – huge waves coupled with clear weather on the San Mateo County coast – since the contest window opened Dec. 7. Last year, a dearth of surf scuttled the event.
The contest, with a $75,000 prize pool, will be held Saturday morning off Pillar Point, with 24 surfers paddling into waves in a series of heats that will determine the winner. This will be the sixth time the contest has been held since 1999.
The timing of the event on a weekend may draw record crowds, but organizers have provided other ways for people to watch the show.
The surf break is more than a half-mile from the beach, so spectators may be in better position in front of computer screens, watching a free live Webcast, or by seeing the event shown on the big screen at AT&T Park in San Francisco. Admission to that is $20. More details are available at the contest's Web site, www.maverickssurf.com.