The Mavericks surfing competition, the nation’s premier big wave event, has been canceled this year after organizers were sued by its sponsor and filed for bankruptcy, event representatives said Friday.
Held half a mile off Half Moon Bay in Northern California, the annual one-day contest features two dozen professional surfers competing on one of the world’s most dangerous surf breaks, where waves can reach 60 feet.
The event, officially known as Titans of Mavericks, takes place between November and March after a 48-hour notice is given when conditions are right, aligning clear weather and majestic swells.
The cancellation comes one week after Red Bull, Mavericks’ broadcaster and only sponsor, filed a lawsuit against the event’s promotional and management groups, Cartel Management and Titans of Mavericks, for breach of contract, seeking $400,000.
In its bankruptcy filings, Cartel faces claims of about $1.9 million and Titans of Mavericks faces more than $776,335, according to court records filed Tuesday.
The surfers themselves, the Grant Twiggy Bakers, The Greg Longs of the world; they just want to run a big wave contest at Mavericks; for the surfers the big wave fraternity
Sabrina Brenna- a San Mateo County Harbor Commissioner and who heads up the Committee for Equity in Women's Surfing who has hashtag #bigwavefeminisim , #surfraggetes on her tweets- she is suggesting that jeff Clark was conned by the cartel. She represents Bianca Valenti ; and together they forced Cartels hand making the Committee of 5 include a Womens Heat.
Controversy from the beginning: But controversy has also followed it from the beginning. One of its first moves was to extract the contest from Body Glove, which in 2014 had signed on to be a three-year title sponsor later filed a lawsuit that is still ongoing. It also limited access to the break on contest day for media and passenger boats.
Sponsors never materialized, which partly explains why the Cartel and Titans of Mavericsk owe approximately $2.5 million to their top 20 creditors. Cartel and Miller also recently lost a $1 million lawsuit for breach of contract after failing to fulfill their marketing obligations with a self-tanning company.
THE BIG ASSET IS THE PERMIT. Among the companies’ remaining assets are the five-year exclusive permits they were granted by several agencies to hold the surf contest at Maverick’s. No one seems to know what will happen to those permits, or to the contest, if the bankruptcy leads to a sale of the two companies.
The Contest at Mavericks needs to go away;-- at least for five years. Let the egos and power brokers simmer down . Eventually, if it seems appropriate, perhaps a leader with a transparent mission can arise , someone like Greg Long, Grant Washburn… someone not tainted by the past and whose character transcends the bickering. Or maybe not. Maybe Mavericks as a contest site is just one big wipeout.