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Mavericks Big Wave Invitational 2011-2012 Is Back, Jeff Clark to Return as Contest Director

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Jeff Clark to Return as Mavericks Surf Contest Director

Owners Jeff and Cassandra Clark outside their new store in Pillar Point Harbor.Credit Christa Bigue

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Contest organizing group announces 5-member leadership board from Half Moon Bay and Santa Cruz surf community

The San Mateo County Harbor Commission approved Mavericks Invitational’s contest permit application tonight at its regular meeting in South San Francisco.

Mavericks Invitational board members Jeff Clark, Cassandra Clark, Ken Collins and Rocky Raynor all spoke out in regards to the permit fee being raised by $10,000 in the last two months.

The Commission voted 3-1 to approve the permit with a cost of $30,000 to the contest organizers. Pietro Parravano was the lone dissenter of the group, saying that he felt the $30,000 permit cost was too high. —

Russell Smith surfing Mavericks.Credit Ed Grant

In advance of the 2011-2012 Mavericks surf season, a newly-unified group of surfers organizing this year’s contest announced today that Jeff Clark would return as contest director.

Named by last year’s contest organizers as “The Jay at Mavericks Big Wave Invitiational,” the new group — who are calling themselves Mavericks Invitational Inc. — has named the 2011-2012 contest “The Mavericks Big Wave Invitational.”

Clark, a Half Moon Bay native and big-wave surfer known to have founded the treacherous Mavericks surf break located less than a mile from Pillar Point Harbor, is also part of Mavericks Invitational’s five-member board of directors.

The group will present its 2011-2012 contest plan to the San Mateo County Harbor Commissioners on Wednesday to secure a permit from the commission to run the world-class surfing contest.

The application represents a unified bid for the contest from both parties who dueled at the agency’s June meeting, when Clark and ex-wife Katherine Kelly Clark both spoke to harbor commissioners about their respective company’s interest in receiving the contest permit.

Jay Moriarity surfing the big waves at Mavericks outside Half Moon Bay. Credit Courtesy The Jay At Mavericks Big Wave Invitational

Kelly Clark’s group had already applied for a permit to run the contest and was ready to go in front of the harbor commission for their approval when Jeff Clark said he only found out about the application just a few days before the meeting.

After that meeting, the groups reported that they had worked out their differences and would be presenting a unified contest permit application to the commission.

Grant Washburn at Mavericks.Credit Ed Grant

“There’s been controversy over the years that cast a shadow over Mavericks and the big wave community,” Clark said. Years of conflict enveloped the surf community when former contest organizer Mavericks Surf Ventures ousted Clark from his position as contest director in 2009 and failed to honor contracts with Clark and company shareholders.

“But this is a new day and new group that is united and ready to present a world-class event. We’re doing this right, for the right reasons and for the long term,” Clark said.

In July, Clark won a lawsuit he filed against Mavericks Surf Ventures for damages related to the company’s business conduct with Clark, including breached contracts, self-dealing and a failure to honor their original agreements with him.

Grant "Twiggy" Baker surfing Mavericks.Credit Ed Grant

“Everything is where it should be now, and we can get back to a great event showcasing the world’s best big wave surfers,” Clark said.

The group says it has a team of logistics and operations personnel ready to manage the contest along with a Mavericks Surf Festival, along with a new venue for contest viewing.

The Board of Directors of Mavericks Invitational, Inc. includes four members from  Half Moon Bay, and one from Santa Cruz.

The group’s Board of Directors are as follows (descriptions provided by Mavericks Invitational, Inc.):

Jeff Clark (Half Moon Bay, Calif.): Big wave legend and Mavericks pioneer, surfboard shaper and owner of Mavericks Surf Shop located in Pillar Point Harbor, overlooking Mavericks.  

Ken “Skindog” Collins (Santa Cruz, Calif.): Longtime Mavericks surfer and competitor in the contest, with more than 20 years of experience in the big wave community including honors as the Billabong XXL Award for Ride of the Year and Monster Tube. He is the Northern California Sales Representative for Volcom and in 2011 launched a website called ChasingMonsters.com that is dedicated to the art of big-wave riding.

Rocky Raynor (Half Moon Bay, Calif.): President and CEO of Ultra-Flex Inc., since 1982, with a strong commitment to the Half Moon Bay community. Rocky is currently the volunteer Vice President of the Boys & Girls Club of the Coastside and Head Coach of the Half Moon Bay Cunha Middle School Surf Club.

Cassandra Clark (Half Moon Bay, Calif.):  President of Mavericks Surf Company, which operates Mavericks Surf Shop, and Communications Director for Eden Medical Center in Castro Valley, with extensive experience in event management, business management and leadership. Former instructor at California State University East Bay, past president and board member of the San Leandro Chamber of Commerce.

Brian Overfelt (Half Moon Bay, Calif.):  Manager and working owner of Old Princeton Landing and co-owner of Princeton Yarns, event photographer for the Big Wave World Tour, long-time Mavericks photographer and community leader. Brian led a successful effort that led to $5 million funding and work by the Army Corps of Engineers to dredge Pillar Point Harbor and nourish local beaches.

If their contest permit is approved, the group plans to open the Mavericks contest window between the dates of December 1, 2011 and March 30, 2012.

The San Mateo Harbor Commission will consider the permit application at a public meeting on Wednesday, September 21, at 7 p.m. at the South San Francisco Municipal Services Building (33 Arroyo Drive, South San Francisco). The public is invited to provide comments.  Half Moon Bay Patch

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