By Stephen Baxter
Santa Cruz Sentinel
SANTA CRUZ — A dangerous south wind predicted on Friday could thwart the Body Glove Mavericks Invitational from running, surf contest organizers said Wednesday.
“There is going to be south wind and a giant swell,” wrote contest organizer Jeff Clark on the contest’s Facebook page Wednesday morning.
“This combination can make it very dangerous, not only for competitors but for all boats out in the water,” Clark wrote.
An official decision on whether they will run the contest is expected Wednesday afternoon.
This week, surf forecasters and organizers predicted a west swell to produce waves at Maverick’s with 35- to 40-foot faces on Friday. Those waves are still on tap, but the southerly wind could create messy, choppy conditions.
The contest pits 24 competitors — seven from Santa Cruz — against each other in a one-day affair and a $50,000 prize purse.
The contest takes place off Pillar Point Harbor near Half Moon Bay, and there is a festival and viewing area nearby with large screens to watch the action live. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased online or at the door.
Spectators are not allowed on the cliff near the break, but boats typically line the channel of the break to offer closer views.
The event is part of the Big Wave World Tour, and it has a waiting period for waves that extends to March 31.
More information is on the event’s website at www.mavericksinvitational.com
Follow Sentinel reporter Stephen Baxter at Twitter.com/sbaxter_sc