Legal issues threaten Mavericks surfing competition

A San Mateo County Harbor commissioner on Monday told KTVU that legal and permit issues are not only threatening this season's Mavericks surf competition but said she's worried the future of the world famous surfing contest is in jeopardy.   

"Logistically, it's darn near impossible," explained commissioner Sabrina Brennan when asked if the event will happen before the window for Mavericks closes next month. 

The San Mateo County Harbor Commission manages the Mavericks surf area.

Questions arose over whether the event will be held this season after event organizers, Cartel Management Inc. and Titans of Mavericks LLC, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last week.

But despite the latest developments, the event's founder, Jeff Clark told KTVU Fox 2 on Monday that he and his team at Mavericks are mobilizing to try and make the event happen this season. 

Clark noted that he has not received official word that the contest has been scrapped. 

"We're trying to find a way," said Clark. "It was a shock to me when they ran into legal problems... It's really disappointing. I don't think it should end for our big wave surfers like this," Clark told KTVU. 

Big wave surfers say they hope another organization such as the "World Surfing League" will take over the contest.

Brennan on the other hand said that with the event tied up in bankruptcy court, she does not see how another organizer would be able to take over the event for this season and expressed concern that the issues would not be resolved in time for next season. 

Officially titled, Titans of Mavericks, the contest draws the world's top big wave surfers to Pillar Point, near Half Moon Bay.

The annual event's window is open November to March and surfers are given a 48-hour notice when the conditions are just right to call the competition.

This year was set to be the first time the contest would have included a heat for female surfers.

Brennan was instrumental in making that change and she expressed disappointment that the contest will have to wait at least another year to see women athletes compete.