Clear Skies, Powerful Waves Forecast for Mavericks Surf Contest Sunday

A swell that originated near the Aleutian Islands is forecast to hit Half Moon Bay's coastline this weekend.

Organizers of the Mavericks International surfing contest are expecting sunny skies and powerful waves off the coast of Half Moon Bay Sunday.

National Weather Service forecaster Austin Cross said clear weather and temperatures in the lower 60s are expected at sea level near Pillar Point Harbor, where the big-wave contest is held at the Mavericks break.

"It's going to be a pretty nice day near the water," Cross said.

Though waves are not expected to be as dramatic as in 2010, when Mavericks was last held and waves crested higher than 40 feet, a swell that originated near the Aleutian Islands is forecast to hit the coast this weekend and "turn into really big breakers," Cross said.

"It's supposed to be an amazing day," contest spokeswoman Jessica Banks said.

Banks said that about 12,000 people are expected to descend on the area around Pillar Point Harbor and Half Moon Bay to check out 24 of the world's elite big-wave surfers as they compete in the invite-only contest.

Spectators will not be allowed on coastal bluffs or beaches overlooking the break, Banks said.

The 8 a.m. competition can be viewed as it happens on several big-screen TVs at the Mavericks Invitational Festival, which will be held on the grounds of the Oceano Hotel and Spa at Pillar Point Harbor.

The festival will feature live commentary, music, a beer garden, and the chance to mingle with contest competitors.

An awards ceremony will be held at the festival after the competition.

Tickets, which can be purchased online here, range from $10 for general
admission to $1,000 for VIP access. General admission tickets will be $20 at
the door on Sunday.

The competition will also be streamed live online.

— Bay City News

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