Weather pushes back big-wave surf­ing con­test

San Francisco Chronicle - - PAGE 2 - By Bruce Jenk­ins Bruce Jenk­ins is a San Fran­cisco Chron­i­cle colum­nist.

Surf­ing con­tests rely on the com­bi­na­tion of waves and weather, and the Mav­er­icks event is get­ting only par­tial co­op­er­a­tion. With con­trary con­di­tions in the fore­cast, the Mav­er­icks Chal­lenge has been called off for Tues­day, with no spe­cific plans for the im­me­di­ate fu­ture.

Through­out the past week, there was ex­cite­ment over a west-north­west swell that would bring the largest Mav­er­icks surf of the sea­son. That is now a mat­ter of con­jec­ture, and the once-promis­ing weather fore­casts have changed.

“We are specif­i­cally con­cerned about the south-south­west winds that are pro­jected to come in on Tues­day morn­ing,” said World Surf League Com­mis­sioner Mike Par­sons. “There is also po­ten­tial for north­west winds that day (the most fa­vor­able winds for Mav­er­icks are from the east or north­east). The mod­els are show­ing a slight de­crease in the swell size, as well. We still have the rest of Jan­uary and all of Fe­bru­ary to get a bet­ter op­por­tu­nity to run the event.”

More big surf is due along the North­ern Cal­i­for­nia coast over the next sev­eral days, but po­ten­tially con­trary weather makes it im­pos­si­ble to set a tar­get date.

Re­flect­ing on the trans­fer of own­er­ship from Car­tel Man­age­ment (which filed for bank­ruptcy) and the WSL, vet­eran Mav­er­icks surfer Grant Wash­burn saw the up­side.

“The WSL is clearly ready to pull the trig­ger on this con­test,” Wash­burn said Satur­day. “The very op­po­site of last year.”

With the con­test on hold in­def­i­nitely, many of the men and women surfers on the Mav­er­icks in­vi­ta­tion list have flown to Hawaii, where clean and gi­ant surf was ex­pected.

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