What: 2008 Mavericks Surf Big Wave Contest
Where: Half Moon Bay, California, USA
When: 7 December 2007 – 31 March 2008
After months of tracking the patterns of Mother Nature and officially receiving a green light on Friday from Contest Director Jeff Clark, the 2007/2008 Mavericks Surf Contest was held in solid 25-30 foot swell. The event, which brought 24 of the world’s most accomplished big-wave surfers to one of the most infamous breaks on the planet, culminated in a hard fought victory for San Clemente native, Greg Long.
“Greg’s been pushing the limits,” said Contest Director Jeff Clark. “With his natural talent it’s not a surprise to see him learning the ropes quickly and becoming one of the best big-wave surfers.”
Following six intense heats featuring some of the finest watermen in ideal Mavericks conditions, the finals are already being recognized as one of the most competitive and inspirational in the contest’s history. Despite the high stakes and back and forth lead changes, camaraderie ultimately stole the spotlight when, at the post-event awards ceremony, it was revealed that the six finalists, while looking out at seemingly flat water, agreed to split their shares of the prize purse evenly no matter the outcome.
Shortly after the agreement in the water, a premiere set appeared out of nowhere, which Contest Champion, Long rode for an unprecedented perfect 10. Claiming one-sixth share of the final round prize purse with Long were fellow finalists (in respective order of finish) Grant “Twiggy” Baker (ZAF), Jamie Sterling (HAW), Tyler Smith (Calif.), Grant Washburn (Calif.) and Evan Slater (Calif.) in sixth. Not all spoils were split evenly, as Long was additionally awarded with a one-of-a-kind high performance Reactor watch and a hand shaped Jeff Clark surfboard.
“The first heat is the biggest hurdle. Making the semifinals is a huge accomplishment but becoming the Mavericks Surf Contest Champion is a dream come true,” said Long. “I am humbled.”
Jamie Sterling was honored with the Jay Moriarity award for the intense spirit and passion he exemplifies for big-wave surfing. Clif Bar presented Grant “Twiggy” Baker with the Clif Bar Green Room Award, for getting the biggest, deepest barrel of the day, which is vied for and voted for by the surfers themselves.
A record number of surf fans enjoyed the action at the beach as thousands descended on Pillar Point. Even more enjoyed the alternate viewing options as more than 250,000 viewed the free-live webcast on Myspace and more than 1,000 people watched the competition on the big screen at the live viewing party at AT&T Park in San Francisco.
Greg Long (1)
Grant “Twiggy” Baker (2)
Jamie Sterling (3)
Tyler Smith (4)
Grant Washburn (5)
Evan Slater (6)