12 January 2008

Mavericks Contest, 12 January 2008

The local papers were predicting huge crowds and bad traffic getting to the coast, so I left early for the drive to Half Moon Bay. But they lied, because I made it there in record time, even stuck behind a horse trailer. I parked at M's house, although I could have gotten closer, and walked about half an hour to Rosses Cove with him, his wife W, and J. It was an absolutely fabulous day, sunny and in the 60s. There were a lot of people but it wasn't too crowded, and from the bluff we could see the lineup. Binoculars were key! I tried to zoom in with the camera, but it was too far away for good shots and hard to see the LCD screen in the sun - not to mention I'd rather watch through the binos than try to catch a good picture and miss seeing the action! And it was totally awesome to watch those guys, making a fast drop down the almost vertical face of 25-30' waves, then speeding ahead of a rushing tower of whitewater. I saw a couple breath-holding wipeouts too, but the jetskis were always right there to whisk the guys from the impact zone before the next giant wave.

After a while we walked down to the beach, where you could look left toward the break to see the sets coming, then right to a big video screen to watch the surfers up close. The beach had a band and food/t-shirt/info booths, and the announcers calling the play-by-play. But I liked the view from the bluff better, so when my friends left in the 4th heat to go watch the webcast on M's big TV, I headed back up the bluff. I scored a perfect seat on the edge with an unobstructed view and settled in with the binoculars. S2 joined me for a bit, and then I speed-walked back to M's house to watch the finals. Unfortunately the webcast was overwhelmed by demand and had no sound, with the picture at times morphing into some weird pixelated modern art.

Next year I'll be on the bluff again, or maybe I'll spring for a seat on one of the boats to see and hear the waves up close. That would be really awesome!

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