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Thousands Head to Coast for Mavericks Surf Contest

An estimated 30,000 people traveled to Half Moon Bay, Pillar Point Harbor and Princeton-By-The-Sea to check out the competition.

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Thousands of surfing fans and big-wave enthusiasts descended on Half Moon Bay and the San Mateo County Coast Sunday for the Mavericks Invitational big-wave surfing contest.

Clear skies and temperatures in the 60s have made ideal conditions for heading to the coast and enjoying the competition, which as of 2 p.m. was going off without a hitch, according to the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office.

An estimated 30,000 people traveled to Half Moon Bay, Pillar Point Harbor and Princeton-By-The-Sea to check out the competition at the famed Mavericks break, which lies about a half-mile off the coast, sheriff's spokeswoman Rebecca Rosenblatt said.

Organizers of the Mavericks Invitational Festival -- being held on the grounds at Oceano Hotel & Spa -- said the event was sold out, accommodating more than 10,000 people with live music, food, beer, and video coverage of the contest as it happens, Rosenblatt said.

"The festival filled up and the competition appears to be going well," Rosenblatt said. "Everyone is being really cooperative and having a good time."

While weather conditions were expected to remain fair for the remainder of the day, National Weather Service forecaster Bob Benjamin said that the waves had not been coming in as high as expected.

Most waves were cresting between 7 and 10 feet at locations along the coast, Benjamin said, with the highest waves at Mavericks reaching just over 15 feet.

A high surf advisory that went into effect around the Bay Area on Saturday was expected to expire today at about 4 p.m., Benjamin said.

The sheriff's office reported no arrests as of 2 p.m. and reported that no one had trespassed on the fragile bluffs above the break that were closed to the public this year for safety reasons, Rosenblatt said.

The U.S. Coast Guard reported no incidents on the water associated with the contest.

 

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