WSL is ready for the 2018 Mavericks Challenge

December 14, 2017 | Surfing
Mavericks: included in the 2018 Big Wave Tour schedule | Photo: Acton/WSL

The official competition window of the Mavericks Challenge will run from January 3 through February 28, 2018.

The announcement was made by the World Surf League (WSL) after receiving the approval of event plan by the California Coastal Commission.

"Mavericks is a special location that adds a new level to the Big Wave Tour (BWT) schedule. Hosting the women's event at Mavericks was always a priority for us when we acquired the event," noted Sophie Goldschmidt, CEO of WSL.

The WSL's acquisition of the permit for the contest was finalized in October following an agreement with Titans of Mavericks and Cartel Management, in which the world-famous Mavericks in Northern California will join WSL's Big Wave Tour through 2021.

Surfing competitions have run under various structures at Mavericks since 1999, and the event last ran in 2016, won by Nic Lamb.

"Mavericks is the crown jewel of Big Wave surfing and the tour. It's the only California big wave venue on tour and perhaps the most feared. I'm excited at the direction we're headed. It was only a matter of time for the women," added Lamb.

The Mavericks Challenge will be part of the 2017/18 BWT Northern Hemisphere season. The men's division will consist of a 24-man field, comprised of the Top 10 finishers of the 2016/2017 BWT season, six event wildcards, three BWT wildcards, one injury wildcard, and the Top 4 Overall Performance of the Year Award recipients.

The six wildcards for the Mavericks Challenge will be selected by a committee made up of Mavericks legends and experts. The event only runs when surf reaches the 30-foot-plus mark, with riders getting a 72 hours' notice.

Mavericks: the Californian surf break returns to the Big Wave Tour | Photo: WSL

The world's best female big wave surfers will also have the opportunity to compete at Mavericks this upcoming season for the first time ever.

The WSL Commissioner's Office has worked with a local committee made up of Mavericks surfing icons to select six of the best female big wave surfers. The committee considered performance results from the 2016 WSL Big Wave Awards, experience surfing at Mavericks, and overall big wave experience at all big wave locations around the world.

"It's going to be an amazing opportunity to see another big wave spot, one of the best in the world, and have an empty lineup with the best surfers, best conditions, and the best waves. Mavericks is a really perfect wave and one of the most powerful big waves in the world," concluded Paige Alms, the 2016 Women's Big Wave Tour champion.

The 2017/2018 WSL Big Wave Tour has completed its first two events of the season with Kai Lenny (HAW) winning the Puerto Escondido Challenge in Mexico and Ian Walsh (HAW) and Paige Alms (HAW) taking out the Pe'ahi Challenge. 

2017/18 Mavericks Challenge | Men's Invitees

Grant Baker
Pedro Calado
Greg Long
Jamie Mitchell
Billy Kemper
Nic Lamb
Will Skudin
João De Macedo
Cristian Merello
Kai Lenny

Injury Wildcard
Makuakai Rothman

BWA Performer of the Year Qualifiers
Lucas Chianca
Francisco Porcella
Tom Lowe
Peter Mel

Mavericks Event Invitees
Travis Payne
Tyler Fox
Anthony Tashnick
Ben Andrews
Jason Stark
Pat Shaughnessy

WSL Big Wave Tour Invitees
Three to be selected on Green Light

BWA Performer of the Year Invitee Alternates
Nathan Florence
Alex Botelho
Jojo Roper

Mavericks Event Invitee Alternates
Ben Wilkinson
Nathan Fletcher
Ryan Seelbach
Matt Becker
Colin Dwyer
Luca Padua

2017/18 Mavericks Challenge | Women's Invitees

Paige Alms
Keala Kennelly
Justine Dupont
Bianca Valenti
Sarah Gerhardt
Emily Erickson

Jamilah Star
Andrea Moller
Wrenna Delgado