A few days ago, the surf world got some good news: the Mavericks Challenge got a yellow light for a possible Tuesday start. Today, however, the WSL—who recently stuck their toes into the filthy swamp that had surrounded the event and ended up as the proud new owners of the contest permit—announced on Saturday morning that conditions just weren’t going to line up.
“After much research and analysis into the forecasts, we are calling the WSL Big Wave Tour Mavericks Challenge OFF for Tuesday, January 16,” said Mike Parsons, the Big Wave Tour Commissioner. “We are specifically concerned about the S, SSW winds that are projected to come in on Tuesday morning. There is also potential for NW winds to come in. The models are showing a slight decrease in the swell size, as well. We still have the rest of January and all of February to get a better opportunity to run the Mavericks Challenge and will continue to closely track the conditions to hopefully run this season.”
It’s just another bump in an otherwise very rocky road, but this time, at least, it’s because of Mother Nature. The event at California’s most famous big wave spot has consistently been one of the most notoriously difficult to put on. When the WSL got the nod from the California Coastal Commission, however, it seemed like maybe, just maybe, the event might finally be freed of all those annoying shackles that dragged it down for so many years. So far, at least, it seems as though that’s true, just so long as the weather cooperates.
If and when the Mavericks Challenge runs, 24 men will compete, and for the first time, six women. The window stays open until February 28th, and after this morning’s call-off, officials are eyeing another big swell that’s expected to slam the coast on Thursday. That too, however, comes with some serious wind and rain. “It will blow your hair back,” said Brian Overfelt, the contest’s manager for community events. “But right now it looks like weather is coming with it.”