Each man described what surfing Mavericks means to them, and all spoke of how proud they were to be part of the brotherhood of Mavericks chargers.
Everyone then paddled out towards Mavericks to continue the tradition of joining in a circle to honor the new big-wave season at Mavericks.
Mavericks competitor Tim West, Jr. summed up the emotions that were present in the circle, saying, “The paddle out was rad and was definitely the most spiritual one I have ever experienced.”
The festivities as well as the perfect weather lasted well into the evening as the surfers, their families, and friends gathered on the lawn outside of the Oceano Hotel and Spa for eating, drinking, and dancing, as well as for this year’s heat drawings.
Guests enjoyed surf-inspired cocktails from Jim Beam, along with Sierra Nevada on tap, while speaking with excitement about what this season’s El Niño weather pattern might bring.
All agreed that Mavericks Matriarch Katherine Kelly Clark had outdone herself once again in organizing this memorable event.
Contest invitee Kenny “Skindog” Collins added, “This was the best opening ceremony celebration ever! Everyone’s looking good and healthy, and it was great to get together.” Each competitor also received a gift package that included newly launched Mavericks sunglasses, belts, and 100% recycled hoodies, a Sony Ericsson W518A phone, and a limited edition Mavericks/Jim Beam bottle and blanket.
The Field is Set. Unlike other big-wave contests, Mavericks invitees draw numbered golf balls to determine whom they will compete against in the six-man, first round heats.
The invitees themselves have chosen this method of seeding because they believe it mirrors the unpredictability of Mavericks itself in that “you never know what you’re going to get.”
Below are the official random heat draws presented in the order they were chosen by the surfers themselves for the 2009 Contest:
Heat One: Evan Slater, Darryl “Flea” Virostko, Ion Banner, Dave Wassell, Grant “Twiggy” Baker, Tyler Smith
Heat Two: Peter Mel, Shane Desmond, Zach Wormhoudt, Nathan Fletcher, Matt Ambrose, Anthony Tashnick
Heat Three: Brock Little, Tim West Jr., Kenny “Skindog” Collins, Josh Loya, Greg Long, Carlos Burle
Heat Four: Chris Bertish, Grant Washburn, Ryan Seelbach, Ben Andrews, Shawn Rhodes, Jamie Sterling
Record Prize Purse and Jim Beam Jersey at stake. This year, the invitees will compete for a record-breaking $150,000 prize purse, including $50,000 to the Champion.
The purse is personally funded by Mavericks benefactors Moose Guen and Jane Sutherland of MVision, and Barracuda Networks. Mavericks will also introduce the “Jim Beam Jersey” to this year’s lineup—a distinctive jersey to be worn by the 2008 Mavericks Champion as he battles to defend his hard-earned title.
Jim Beam will also offer fans a limited edition Contest label along with a $5,000 donation to benefit Save the Waves—an environmental coalition dedicated to preserving the world's surf spots and their surrounding environments. In addition, a $5,000 "Gnarliest Drop" award will be offered to the surfer who exhibits the most impressive drop-in of the day.
SOURCE: Mavericks Surf Contest