As one of the heaviest waves in the world, Mavericks presents a challenge to anyone seeking to tame her. From the underground, thrill-seeking hellmen who were her earliest antagonists to the organizers who've struggled to make a Mavericks surf contest event financially viable, the famed big-wave break obeys no master.
True to form, a planned sale of assets associated with the short-lived and rarely held Titans Of Mavericks surf contest was canceled, as the offer failed to attract any willing buyers, according to a report by The Mercury News.
The sale was intended as part of the ongoing Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings from the Titan Of Mavericks' management company, Cartel Management. The tailspin began after Red Bull Media House – a major contest sponsor – filed a lawsuit against Cartel over claims of a contract breach. The bankruptcy filing allowed the company to continue operations, but any hopes for a 2017 Titans contest were squashed when the event was canceled, and another fairly active Mavs season came and went without a proper invitational competition.
The public sale of the company's assets was scheduled for June 1st, but with bids starting at $1 million, many involved with the contest expressed doubts about the prospects of such a sale. "They stole the permit, they stole the event,” Mavericks Invitational board member Brian Overfelt told The Mercury News. “Now they're trying to make money in bankruptcy court."
OG Mav's charger and Mavericks Invitational, LLC. founder Jeff Clark has also filed a claim against Cartel for $2.1 million over.
These disputes, as well as questions over who rightfully owns the contest, complicated the potential sale, and Cartel has blamed Mavericks Invitational officials and the San Mateo Harbor District for scaring away bidders.
Ultimately, the dispute is over who owns the San Mateo Harbor District use permit, the most important of the more than 10 documents needed to run the contest. Mavericks Invitational officials say they own the permit and recruited [Cartel Management] to help grow the contest's commercial and marketing side. But Cartel's name is on the permit that district commissioners issued through 2021.
The district also filed an objection to the auction process with the court because officials want to make sure whoever takes control of the event can meet the permit's financial and safety conditions.
Since the invitational competition was established in 1999, ten contests have been held at Mavs. After Clark partnered with Cartel in 2014, the contest has ran just once. Any sale of Cartel's assets would not include the permit, according to TMN, leaving the prospects of future contests at Mavericks uncertain until the dispute can be settled.
San Mateo Harbor Commissioner Sabrina Brennan told TMN that her organization is hoping to streamline the permitting process for future contests, and they also hope to do a better job of vetting event organizers.
[Featured Image: Photo by Ellis]