HALF MOON BAY, Calif., Feb. 5, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Surfline/Wavetrak, Inc. - A massive, El Nino-powered northwest swell hit Northern California on Thursday, just in time for a multiple agency blackout that prevented the Titans of Mavericks big wave surf contest from running.
The swell brought treacherous conditions and 40 ft. plus waves to the infamous big-wave surf spot in Half Moon Bay, California, known as Mavericks. Such conditions were enticing to the organizers of the international big-wave surf contest, Titans of Mavericks. That is, until they were notified that the surf contest could not run because of the upcoming NFL Super Bowl happening in nearby Santa Clara this weekend.
"We have been closely monitoring this coming week's swell, unfortunately, multiple agencies, which are essential to our event operations, are in a blackout period during Super Bowl week/weekend, so we have no choice but to pass on this swell," says event director Darren Brilhart. "There are still plenty of days left in our waiting period, and we are confident to run the event on the best day still to come."
This opened up the infamous surf spot to a slew of international pros as well as local NorCal big-wave heroes, who charged the dangerous waves from dawn to dusk on Thursday, February 4. The epic freesurfing session was covered in-depth by Surfline, with thrills, spills and moments of glory captured in HD and on Surfline's live Mavericks surf camera.
Matt Becker of Santa Barbara, California took one of the worst wipeouts of the morning. As the tide dropped out, Becker took off behind another surfer, only to fall headfirst down the face of a wave the size of a four-story building. Becker landed on his back and took the full power of the wave to his head. "The lip landed right on my face," Becker said after returning to relative safety in the channel.
But Becker wasn't the only surfer to survive a horrific wipeout. Nic Vaughan also took a backwards tumble that may have resulted in the worst beating of the day. "That didn't really work out so well," Vaughan said. "It sucked up on the bowl and I didn't have a chance."
Maui's Tyler Larronde scored a rare barrel during the late morning, putting on a display of skillful tuberiding, and former WCT pro Damien Hobgood snagged what many are calling the wave of the day in the afternoon – a heavy, deep backside barrel across the reef.
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SOURCE Surfline/Wavetrak Inc.