They're back…and up at Mavericks people aren't just talking about the sharks. Come this winter, for the third consecutive year, 24 of the best big-wave riders in the world will descend upon Northern California's premier heavy-water venue in hopes of dropping into a win at the aptly titled Mavericks Surf Contest. Last year, breaking Darryl “Flea” Virostko's stranglehold on the Number One position, was 20-year-old Santa Cruz charger Anthony Tashnick. Can he repeat on his breakthrough performance from last year? You'll have to wait until the waiting period starts on January 1st to find out.
One thing you won't have to wait for is voting for the last five competitors. Playing on the overwhelming media success of last year's venture, contest organizers and Mavericks Surf Ventures has decided to let you, the spectator, pick who you want to see out in the cold-water lineup. Now, before you go calling your friends and writing yourself in, there's a list, and if you're not on it, you're fresh out. The surfers you have to choose from are as follows: Carlos Burle, Mike Brumett, Ion Banner, Jake Wormhoudt, Rodrigo Resende, Danilo Couto, Troy Virostko, Garrett McNamara, Noah Johnson, Ross Clarke-Jones, Alex Martens, Russell Smith, Josh Loya, and Grant Baker.
To vote go to Surfermag.com and complete and online ballot, but get it in before December 14th. With a waiting period from January 1 to March 31, the Mavericks Surf Contest is running on "the wave calls the day" concept adopted by other big-wave events like the Quiksilver In Memory of Eddie Aikau Invitational at Waimea Bay. Twenty-four hours before it goes down competitors will be notified that it's open season from there.
The list of current invitees—already in the contest—includes: Anthony Tashnink, Greg Long, Tyler Smith, Zach Wormhoudt, Shane Desmond, Matt Ambrose, Brock Little, Ryan Seelbach, Ryan Augenstein, Evan Slater, Eraldo Gueiros, Shawn Rhodes, Randy Cone, Grant Washburn, Darryl Virostko, Kenny Collins, Peter Mel, Nathan Fletcher, and Mike Gerhardt.