When news broke last week that organizers of the Titans of Mavericks contest filed for bankruptcy, the future of the event was left uncertain. But according to reports by the New York Times, any hopes that remained about running the contest this year have been dashed. The event, which would have been the second opportunity since Jaws for a separate women’s heat, will not run.
“The event is totally done this year,” Brian Overfelt, Mavericks Invitational board member, told the Times. “It’s impossible. There’s no way this event will happen. We were completely and totally blindsided.”
The two LLCs that run the contest have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in Los Angeles. And court filings reveal ailing corporations mired in debt – Cartel Management owing anywhere from $1 to $10 million and Titans of Mavericks owing up to $500 thousand, according to reports. Both LLCs are also embroiled in an ongoing lawsuit, filed by Red Bull Media House North America, for breach of contract.
This year’s event would have marked the first time women were included in the field – a stipulation made after a long fought battle by the California Coastal Commission and the Committee for Equity in Women’s Surfing, and would have been the second major showing for female big wave surfing since the historic women’s contest at Jaws.
Sabrina Brennan, a commissioner of San Mateo County Harbor who fought for female inclusion this year, was explicit. “This is not good for the sport, and it’s not good for the athletes,” she told the Times.
Despite reports of the contest’s cancellation by major outlets, Titans of Mavericks continues to hold out hope that it’ll run if the bankruptcy process moves quickly, which seems like a longshot. There has also been no formal announcement of the event’s cancellation on the Titans of Mavs site, and just days ago – amid reports of the controversy – the organizers tweeted out a trailer for the event with the hashtag #titansofmavericks:
— Titans of Mavericks (@titansofmavs) February 4, 2017
Whether it’ll be resuscitated in any way for next year remains to be seen, and will depend on how court proceedings play out. For this year, though, the fate of Mavericks seems all but certain, save something otherworldly. Fat chance.