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Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Updated: March 29, 3:25 PM ET
Game off at Maverick's

By Jake Howard
ESPN Action Sports

While there were some moments of high drama in Half Moon Bay this winter, the Maverick's Invitational will have to remain on hold until next season.

"No surf, but the party is on!"

That's the latest from Half Moon Bay, Calif., and the good people at the Maverick's Invitational. In a winter plagued by small, La Nina-influenced surf, the waves never consistently rose to the requisite ferocity needed to hold the one-day event.

"Looking at the charts, it doesn't look like anything of significance will show up at Maverick's before the end of the waiting period this Saturday," said Jessica Banks, the event's public relations representative. "We're still going to go ahead with the music festival this weekend, but as far as the contest goes, it looks like we'll have to wait until next winter and try again."

It's been that kind of a winter in the Pacific. Waimea never got big enough for The Eddie, south of the border, The Peligroso at Todos Santos was shelved, and save for a few good days of filming for the upcoming Jay Moriarity Hollywood production, Maverick's didn't do much to make headlines either.

"We had some days, but it was a pretty slow season," said contest invitee Ken "Skindog" Collins, who's been up in the Lake Tahoe area enjoying the late-season snow. "There were definitely some moments, but it wasn't one swell after another after another after another like we've seen."

"The 2010 contest is going to be hard to match," said water safety director Frank Quirarte, "and at some point they'll have to pull the trigger on one of these smaller but no less epic days. This winter came in like a lamb in went out like a lion with some of the best big wave surfing we've seen yet. There are still blobs on the radar, but it just wasn't meant to be, I guess."

The Maverick's Invitational's official waiting period ran from Jan. 1 through March 31. In theory, when the conditions lineup and the contest is called on, contest director and Maverick's pioneer Jeff Clark is to put out a 24-hour notice. Obviously that red alert was never sent out this year.

Spring's here, and it would appear we can officially close the book on the 2011-12 big-wave season.