Mavericks Going Off


Read on for: Mavericks 2014, surfing, Peter Mel

Photos of Mavericks 2010 competition, the last event featuring true monster waves, by Shalom Jacobovitz. (Can you ID these surfers? If so plz post a comment; thx.)

UPDATE: After considering a postponement because conditions appear so damn gnarly, organizers announced today that "It's on!"

Jan. 22, 2014—With a winter storm fast approaching the Santa Cruz north coast, big-wave surfers and fans are predicting the biggest Mavericks in years.

Got out-of-town guests? Coming to visit? Here's our favorite Santa Cruz hotel.

In a story headlined headlined "'Massive' Mavericks Invitational expected to get green light for Friday," the Sentinel's Julie Jag spoke to several local surfers who have been watching weather reports closely.

According to Darryl "Flea" Virostko, guys are already getting beat up in the water, days before the arrival of the really big waves.

From the Sentinel article: "Virostko said invitee Alex Martins of Brazil made a trip to a hospital after taking a nasty spill while surfing Maverick's on Tuesday, when waves reached 20-foot-plus. Several other competitors -- including Hawaii's Kohl Christensen, South Africa's Grant 'Twiggy' Baker and San Clemente's Rusty Long -- 'all got hammered today,' according to BWWT media liaison Rusty Gibson of Santa Cruz."

Local hero Zach Wormhoudt, a Mavericks veteran who is competing again, confirmed that this year's going to be something special.

"Everyone who knows anything about it is saying Friday, and there'll be no shortage of size," Wormhoudt told Jag. "I don't know anything that could possibly change that. Everyone agrees it's going to be ... interesting."

Mark Sponsler, the event's official surf forecaster, predicted towering wave faces of 35 to 40 feet.

Along with Wormhoudt and last year's champion, Peter Mel, six other Santa Cruz surfers are competing in the field of 24: Ken 'Skindog' Collins, Tyler Fox, Anthony Tashnick, Ryan Augenstein, Nic Lamb and Shawn Dollar.

Almost hate to say it, but with the huge swell arriving, alternates Shane Desmond and Tyler Smith may get to compete too.

The 2014 Mavericks competition will be webcast live at the Mavericks Invitational website