Maverick’s Contest Locals Trial Heat Held on Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Maverick’s Contest Locals Trial Heat Held on Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Banner Heat at Maverick’s
by Tim West

On Tues., Jan. 18,  18 surfers from Half Moon Bay made the paddle out to Maverick’s as a building northwest swell began to hit the reef under sunny skies and windy conditions. All of them were surfing for an opportunity to represent one of the two HMB local slots next to Ion Banner in the upcoming trials heat on contest day. Positive vibes and excited surfers filled the room at the pre-session meeting with Maverick’s just a birds-eye view away in the distance. The details were set and everyone was frothing to see what Mother Nature would deliver on the reef out at Pillar Point. The swell was already showing at the outer buoy, 14 feet at 19 seconds, so we knew it was on.

Locals Only Trial Crew

Leading up to this local session a lot of planning and conversation took place between contest organizers and HMB surfers. It was agreed to have a contest trials heat to give the local surfers an opportunity to get into next year’s contest being held at their home break, just as what occurs at Pipeline, Teahupoo, Sunset Beach, and Punta De Lobos. It brings the community together, inspiring and motivating everybody in town to cheer on one of our own and live the contest through them, just as we all did with the S.F. Giants when they took home a World Series title. It is this type of encouragement and local involvement that guys like Ion Banner, Curt Myers, Steve Iverson, and the HMB Surf Club are pushing for right now, which has been lacking in contests of the past.

Staking a claim

Tuesday morning at sunrise the swell was hitting hard with 20-second intervals under clean conditions. Big clouds of whitewater were rumbling like an airplane engine, with outer reefs exploding all throughout the bay. Most of the crew showed up at our lookout spot in El Granada with hot cups of coffee to balance out the cold weather. High fives with some words of encouragement went down, and then it was off to the lot at Junes Beach where the surfers suited up and paddled out for an 11:00AM start.

Ion Banner and Alan Baxter judged waves from the cliff, joined by numerous supporting locals. As the 18 surfers walked the path, cheers and heckles were exchanged, with smiles all around. From the water Andrew Kehl and Jesse Kinsella were judging waves with Brian Overfelt taking photos. Curt Myers, Troy Dooley, and myself helped with water safety to make sure everyone in the lineup was safe.


First wave of the session was Wyatt Fields, breaking the ice for the rest of the pack on a solid peak. At this point the tide began dropping really fast to a -1.0 from a 6.4. Staying in the peak took skill battling the current along with increasing northwest winds, which picked up to 25 mph that afternoon. Jarred Abbot was in tune getting a lot of waves early in the session and showing solid form and comfort in the bowl. For it being his third time out at Maverick’s, we were all impressed and stoked by his surfing. Jim Tjogas got some nice waves carving his way to the inside bowl with style, just as he does in any size surf. Ryan Chapman, a Montara native who flew in from Hawaii, caught one of the biggest waves of the day. Wipeout of the session went to Gabe Polom, who has been stepping it up every session with a true passion for big waves. Other surfers included Ian Shweikert, Dave Lovelace, Dom Spinardi, Skylar Banner, Matt Wilkinson, Greg Broderick, Darren Bingham, Jedd Rain, Ryan Morrissey, Forest O’donnell, and Eoin Bloomer.

Jim Tjogas

During the middle of the heat, after catching a couple of medium-sized waves, Mike Joshua dropped into an inside bowl, barely pulling it off and earning him honors for one of the heaviest drops of the sesh. Wave after wave was ridden by the HMB crew in a pack of Maverick’s regulars, including Ryan Seelbach, Shane Desmond, Ryan Augustine, Alex Martins, Frank Solomon, and Zach Wormhoudt. They were all stoked to be sitting amongst some of the hardest charging surfers out there.

The three standout surfers were Fields, Abbot, and Joshua during the three-hour session. Joshua had a last-minute late drop that scored high, Abbot was consistently catching good waves through the whole session, and Fields was

Wyatt's Field Day

dominating from start to finish. He caught four waves, each deep in the bowl with steep drops that stood out amongst the rest. At the end of the day, Joshua took 2nd place, just edging out a 3rd-place Abbot, with Wyatt Fields taking top honors. Fields will now join Ion Banner on contest day in the trials heat, consisting of the following surfers:

1. Ion Banner (HMB)
2. Wyatt Fields (HMB)
3. Travis Payne (Pacifica)
4. Shaun Rhodes (Pacifica)
5. top alternate #1
6. top alternate #2
7. top alternate #3
8. top alternate #4

The top two scores from this trials heat will be automatic entries into next year’s The Jay at Maverick’s Big Wave Invitational. Congratulations to Wyatt Fields and Ion Banner, both representing HMB in the upcoming trials event, as well as Travis Payne and Shaun Rhodes, our Nor Cal cousins.

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