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Thursday, August 26, 2010
It's getting messy at Maverick's

Jay would go ... as long as he gets the appropriate permits, of course.

Last week ESPN Surfing reported that the pursuit of a contest permit at Maverick's had splintered into two distinct camps: Mavericks Surf Ventures (MSV) and the newly formed Jay Moriarity Group. Well, the drama continues. According to principles in the Jay Group, yesterday afternoon they discovered that the San Mateo County Harbor District was leaning towards allowing MSV, the outfit that's run the contest in recent years, to hold on to their permit. Obviously this came as a call to arms for the proponents of the Jay Group.

With the support of all Maverick's Contest competitors and alternates, as well as the greater Half Moon Bay community, The Jay Group has formally asked MSV withdraw its application.

"There is no question that the competitors that come out here want to surf Maverick's, but we want it to be organized and run in a way that is true to the sport," explains Grant Washburn, who sits on the Jay Group's board and is a longtime proponent of big-wave surfing's core values. "Unfortunately, it has become increasingly clear that MSV's focus is not on managing, running and promoting a world-class big-wave surf contest. This is not only damaging to the Maverick's event, but to the sport of surfing itself."

"Quite frankly, the surfers have been disappointed by MSV's efforts to manage an event in a place that we that we love and feel strongly about," continues Washburn. "We want to restore the magic to the event that celebrates it, as well as the trust and respect that the surrounding community and the world has for it. We are confident that The Jay at Maverick's will be the benchmark of big-wave surfing events."

Up to this point a resolution has been illusive. The San Mateo County Harbor District plans to review the permit applications for the Maverick's contest on Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2010 in Half Moon Bay, and then will make an official decision based on their findings. You can also email the Harbor District if you choose to voice in on the matter.

"The big wave spirit and the bonds this crew has formed is forever, and they (the surfers) ultimately have the spot, the community and the event's best interest at heart," tells Evan Slater, former Surfing magazine editor and now VP of Surf Marketing for Hurley. "2010 was my last year competing, and nothing would please me more to see this contest in the hands of people who knew Jay dearly and can run an event that he would be proud of."

With one week to go until judgement day, we'll bring you more as it unfolds.