For the first time, women will take part in Mavericks surfing competition

Posted at 7:11 PM, Dec 13, 2018

Surfers around the world are anxiously waiting to see if the world-famous Mavericks surf contest will be held next week near Half Moon Bay, and a major focus this year will be Mavericks’ first-ever women’s competition.

Large waves are in the forecast beginning Sunday night, but wind and other weather conditions also need to cooperate in order for the competition to go on. The World Surfing League is trying to pinpoint if any day next week will have the correct conditions to call the contest. On Thursday, organizers announced that it would not happen on Monday, but said they were looking into Tuesday as a possibility.

Once a decision is made, the world’s top surfers have just 48 hours to show up. This year, that will include women competing against each other for equal prize money.

Mavericks surfing
NBC Bay Area photo


“I don’t really see that many women doing it that often, so I think it’s awesome that the sport is growing to that population as well,” said Allie Vacar, a surfing fan.

“For women to be out here doing what the men are doing is a really cool thing, and I think that it’s good for the sport, and it’s good for the exposure of surfing in general,” said Taylor Scornavacco, another surfing fan.

San Mateo County Harbor Commissioner Sabrina Brennan helped lead the local fight to include women in the contest, as well as ensure they have equal pay.

“All of the women athletes have stuck together, and they’ve really been unified in their message. They’ve worked hard to make this happen,” said Brennan.

However, it could be a challenge for organizers to add up to around a dozen additional surfers to this year’s contest format.

“Some of the other places that the Big Wave Surf Tour goes have ‘two day’ windows, and we only have ‘one day,’ so we really have to get that in and hope that for the contest, those waves materialize between the hours of 8 to 5,” said Deputy Harbor Master Cary Smith.

The surfing competition is held near Pillar Point Harbor in the Half Moon Bay area. Surfers were seen practicing on Thursday.