3 p.m. Update: The 2014 Mavericks Invitational big-wave surfing competition is history. After a day featuring some brutal early-morning wipeouts and lots and lots of seemingly death-defying drops down the faces of the monster waves off Pillar Point, Grant “Twiggy” Baker, a 40-year-old from Durban, South Africa, (and part-time resident of San Francisco), took the $50,000 first prize. He won the contest with two rides early in the six-man final heat that judges rated nearly perfect. None of the other five surfers really came close to overcoming that early lead.
Twenty-four competitors started the competition, with the first heat beginning at 8 a.m. The field was winnowed down to the six finalists. Their order of finish:
Last year’s winner, Peter Mel of Santa Cruz, did not make the final.
Original post: If you care about big waves, you know that the Mavericks Invitational is on. Heats started at 8 a.m. — I don’t know anything about surfing except that it looks amazing — and the finals (to be televised live on NBC’s Universal Sports channel) start at 1:30 p.m.
Your best remote spectator option if you can’t make it to the big-screen “viewing festival” at the Oceano Hotel in Half Moon Bay: Watch the narrated live video stream on the Mavericks site (below).