Despite recent storms, the winter of 2012 was just too mild for Mavericks, Northern California's world famous big wave surf contest.
No waves equal to Mavericks' mythic reputation are expected before the contest's official window closes Saturday, so there will be no competition again this year, announced contest director and Mavericks pioneer Jeff Clark.
But the party will go on. On Saturday, the contest organizers will host the first Mavericks Festival, to be held on the grounds of the Oceano Hotel & Spa, 280 Capistrano Road, Half Moon Bay.
The festival will include the presentation of the inaugural Mavericks Awards, honoring some of the greatest moments and performances from the past Mavericks surf season. Many of the world's top big wave riders are expected to attend.
Wimpy surf also cancelled big wave contests at other Pacific destinations, Clark noted.
"Winter threw us some good days, but nothing mustered enough power to hold the big wave contests at Mavericks, Nelscott Reef (Oregon) or Waimea (Hawaii) this year," Clark said. "That leaves a lot of big wave surfers with a whole lot of pent-up energy after a full season of training. So, we're throwing a party to celebrate the season, the athletes and the community."
With nature and the waves so fickle, Clark has wanted to have a post-season party celebrating Mavericks and big wave surfers for years, he said. Since 1999, the actual contest has been held only seven times; the last in 2010.
To be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., the fest also will include food, giveaways, commemorative posters, autograph sessions and previously unseen video of Mavericks surf riders.
Tickets are $25 and available online at www.mavericksinvitational.com.