Mavericks: keeping the spirit alive

The Mavericks Invitational Opening Ceremony has kicked off the new season of big wave riding. The surf contest window starts on November 9, 2012, and runs though March 31, 2013.


The world's premier big wave surf contest kicked off the winter season with an inspirational ceremony and paddle out from the beach at Mavericks. The contest is a one-day competition held at the surf break located half mile offshore at Pillar Point Harbor.
 
"The opening ceremony and paddle out is more special than any big day of surfing," said Danilo Couto, Brazilian big wave surfer on the list of alternates for this year's competition.

"It just reminds us how lucky we are to be here year after and year. Mavericks is the most intense big wave around. It keeps me on my toes every day of my life, knowing I have to be ready.  It keeps me healthy, keeps me young, and keeps me doing the right thing."
 
Nearly all of the 24 invited competitors and 17 alternates attended the ceremony, along with the local high school and junior high school surf teams, fans and the local surf community.
 
"The surfers look forward to the ceremony to reconnect with each other and with Mavericks," said contest director Jeff Clark, who introduced the surfers and led the group in a prayer.

"It's the coming together of the family and the brotherhood that goes way deeper than surfing. It helps us remember that it is a power much greater than us that allows us to challenge one of the greatest forces of nature.”

The heat draw, always a highlight of the ceremony, is where competitors pull out a numbered ping pong ball which places them in their respective heat.  This years heat draw is as follows:
 
Heat#1
Peter Mel       
Dave Wassel
Mark Healey
Kelly Slater
Ken Collins
Rusty Long

Heat #2
Chris Bertish
Jamie Sterling
Grant Washburn
Shawn Dollar
Nathan Fletcher
Matt Ambrose

Heat #3
Tyler Smith
Ryan Augenstein
Zach Wormhoudt
Shane Dorian
Greg Long
Ryan Seelbach

Heat #4
Alex Martins
Anthony Tashnick
Grant Baker
Ben Wilkinson
Carlos Burle
Shane Desmond