On just 24 hours notice between January 1, 2009 and March 31, 2009, 24 of the world’s best big-wave surfers will make the trek to Half Moon Bay, home of Mavericks, one of the most majestic and infamous surf breaks on Earth.

There, they will test their individual skills and vie for the highly sought-after 2009 Mavericks Surf Contest title. Competitors will face the dangerous elements of the frigid northern California waters in search of the perfect ride on waves reaching heights of 30 to 40 feet or more.

Contest Director and Mavericks Founder Jeff Clark has announced that the official Contest window will open on January 1. “We are all stoked to be back for another year,” said Clark.  “No matter what else is going on in the world, Mavericks will be here.

The season looks promising, as we’ve already seen some major swells roll through Half Moon Bay. The perfect contest day we’re looking for will bring a northwest groundswell between 18 and 20 feet (translating into waves faces of 30- to 40-feet) and perfect conditions for the surfers, judges and spectators.”

The contestants receive the green light alert and have just 24 hours to arrive for the event. The international roster of invited surfers consists of, in alphabetical order: Matt Ambrose, Ben Andrews, Grant Baker, Ion Banner, Chris Bertish, Carlos Burle, Kenny Collins, Shane Desmond, Nathan Fletcher, Brock Little, Greg Long, Josh Loya, Peter Mel, Shawn Rhodes, Ryan Seelbach, Evan Slater, Tyler Smith, Jamie Sterling, Anthony Tashnick, Darryl Virostko, Grant Washburn, Dave Wassell, Tim West, Zach Wormhoudt.

Also named were the 15 alternates, in order of priority: Alex Martins, Danilo Couto, Mark Healey, Tyler Fox, Rusty long, Nic Lamb, Jamie Mitchell, Mike Gerhardt, Russell Smith, Kealii Mamala, Garrett McNamara, Andrew Marr, Lawton Smith, John Whittle, Colin Dwyer.

This year, the invitees will compete for an exciting $75,000 prize purse personally funded by Mavericks benefactors Moose Guen and Jane Sutherland of MVision. The purse breakdown awards $30,000 for first place, $12,000 for second place, $7,500 for third place, $3,500 for fourth, $2,500 for fifth and $1,500 for sixth place.