Contest Window Opens with Ceremony
Mavericks Invitational, the world’s premier big wave surf contest, kicked off the winter season with an inspirational Opening Ceremony and paddle out from the beach at Mavericks.
“The opening ceremony and paddle out is more special than any big day of surfing,” said Danilo Couto, Brazilian big wave surfer on the list of alternates for this year’s competition. “It just reminds us how lucky we are to be here year after and year. Mavericks is the most intense big wave around. It keeps me on my toes every day of my life, knowing I have to be ready. It keeps me healthy, keeps me young, and keeps me doing the right thing.”
Nearly all of the 24 invited competitors and 17 alternates attended the ceremony, along with the local high school and junior high school surf teams, fans and the local surf community.
“The surfers look forward to the ceremony to reconnect with each other and with Mavericks,” said contest director Jeff Clark, who introduced the surfers and led the group in a prayer. “It’s the coming together of the family and the brotherhood that goes way deeper than surfing. It helps us remember that it is a power much greater than us that allows us to challenge one of the greatest forces of nature.”
The heat draw, always a highlight of the ceremony, is where competitors pull out a numbered ping pong ball which places them in their respective heat. This year’s heat draw is as follows:
|Heat #1||Heat #2||Heat #3||Heat #4|
|Peter Mel||Chris Bertish||Tyler Smith||Alex Martins|
|Dave Wassel||Jamie Sterling||Ryan Augenstein||Anthony Tashnick|
|Mark Healey||Grant Washburn||Zach Wormhoudt||Grant Baker|
|Kelly Slater||Shawn Dollar||Shane Dorian||Ben Wilkinson|
|Ken Collins||Nathan Fletcher||Greg Long||Carlos Burle|
|Rusty Long||Matt Ambrose||Ryan Seelbach||Shane Desmond|
The ceremony also marks the opening of the Mavericks Invitational contest window, which starts on November 9, 2012, and runs though March 31, 2013. When wave height and weather conditions are perfect, organizers make “the call” to hold the contest with 24-hour notice.
This year’s event is presented by GoPro, with supporting sponsors Sierra Nevada Brewing Company and 1st to Know. To receive up to date news and alerts about the contest, fans can sign up for free text alerts at www.mavericksinvitational.com.