Mavericks, Everest of the Seas

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The Mavericks Surf Contest may not have happened yet this year, but the opening of Half Moon Bay's newest photo exhibit sure did bring in a big wave of surfing fans interested in the legendary surf spot. Titled “Mavericks, Everest of the Seas”, the exhibition focuses on the wave’s intense man-against-the-sea drama and the obsessive lifestyles of those who challenge the world famous break, located off nearby Pillar Point.

This season’s smallish waves and torrential rain storms did nothing to dampen the spirits or stop the crowd from filling up the Coastal Arts League Gallery on Main Street in Half Moon Bay last Saturday night. Attendees traveled from all over the state to view spectacular photographs of big wave surfers challenging one of the true wonders of the natural world.

"Everyone who walked through the doors and viewed the exhibit were just blown away," stated Ed Grant, Gallery Curator. "Both surfers and non-surfers alike couldn't help but get caught up in the energy and stoke that surrounds Mavericks, the surfers and the photographers who put it on the line every time they go out there."

Festive groups of surf legends and art aficionados mixed under colorful prayer flags and admired the vivid images along with a collection of original Maverick’s surfboards. Curious eyes were fixed on the pieces as they tried to imagine what it could possibly be like to be in the arms of Mother Nature at work.

With the photographs on the wall, the wave so close and the surfboards hanging from the rafters, all that was needed were the surfers and photographers themselves…and they were on hand as well. Mavericks hellmen, Jeff Clark, Peter Mel, Ryan Seelbach, Grant “Twiggy” Baker and jet ski photographers Frank Quirarte and Doug Acton were just a few of the faces of Maverick’s who showed up to open up the exhibit in high fashion.

Original photographs by Frank Quirarte, Don Montgomery, Doug Acton and a few other photographers will be staying up in the gallery through March 9, 2009.