Mavericks surf season to kick off with opening ceremony

HALF MOON BAY, Calif. — With the opening of the window for the big-wave surf contest at Mavericks near Half Moon Bay Friday, the surfing competitors are marking the start of the season with an opening ceremony, a contest organizer said.At 2 p.m., the 24 competitors will attend the ceremony at Mavericks, a spot known for its massive swells less than a mile off of the San Mateo County coast near Pillar Point Harbor, surfer and organizer Jeff Clark said.The ceremony will take place near the Oceano Hotel and Spa Half Moon Bay Harbor at 280 Capistrano Road in Half Moon Bay.The kickoff will continue later in the afternoon at Old Princeton Landing at 460 Capistrano Road in El Granada.The Mavericks Invitational competitors will line up and introduce themselves before assembling for a prayer circle, Clark said.Clark said the ceremony is a "kickoff to the season and a coming together" of the surfers who hail from as near and far as the Bay Area, Southern California, Brazil, Hawaii and South Africa.Depending on Friday's weather conditions, surfers will paddle out and take on any waves, Clark said.Mavericks Invitational is a one-day, invitation-only surfing competition held at the legendary surf break. The contest waiting period will run through the end of March 2013.Ideal conditions failed to materialize last season, just like in the 2010-2011 season, and the contest was not held.Clark encouraged any and all surfing enthusiasts and spectators to join today's opening ceremony. He suggested bringing a wetsuit for those planning to enter the water.More information about this year's competition can be found at