The 2013 Mavericks Invitational Festival

Today I went to Half Moon Bay with my friend Jared to attend the Mavericks Invitational Festival. The Mavericks Invitational is a big wave surfing competition, limited to the elite surfers in the world. The competition is pulled together on short notice when  big waves are predicted. Views from the beach and bluffs are limited, since the surfers are a half mile out to sea. To protect spectators and the health of the bluffs, spectators are herded into a festival area at the Oceano Hotel & Spa at Harbor Village. A big screen broadcast of the surfing takes center stage, with vendors and festivities on the grounds.

Half Moon Bay, with the bluffs in the distance.

Half Moon Bay, with the bluffs in the distance. The surfing was happening beyond what you can see in this picture.

The weather was outstanding. It was in the 70s, sunny, with a slight breeze. The festival was sold out–only people who had bought tickets in advance were permitted to enter.

Some of the crowd watching the Maverick Invitational final.

Some of the crowd watching the Maverick Invitational final.

The attitude of the festival workers and attendees was extremely relaxed and mellow. It was pleasant. As a non-surfer, it would have been nice to have more information and explanations. Acronyms and terms were used frequently during the live broadcast that left me baffled. No scoring was revealed during the broadcast. It seemed like it was more of an exhibition, humans versus waves, than a competition between the surfers.

Even though we stayed until the final had been completed we did not know who won, since we left before the awards ceremony. When I got home I consulted surfertoday.com to find out that Peter Mel was the champion today.

On our trip back down the coast on Highway 1 we stopped to view the Pacific a few times. Since the sun was getting low in the western sky, it made pictures a challenge. It was bright. Some of my unedited photos look like I put a filter on them.

A lighthouse on the coast.

A lighthouse on the coast.

Walking on the beach.

Walking on the beach.

Woman with backpack walking past duck-shaped driftwood.

A woman walking past duck-shaped driftwood.

We arrived in Monterey just in time to catch the last notes of the sunset.

A Monterey sunset.

A Monterey sunset.

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