HALF MOON BAY, California/USA (Friday, October 26, 2018) – The World Surf League (WSL) is pleased to announce that the official competition window for the Big Wave Tour (BWT) Mavericks Challenge will open on November 1, 2018, and run through March 31, 2019. Following final permit approval and coordination with the governmental agencies involved with the production of the event, the WSL is excited for the opportunity to run the inaugural Mavericks Challenge, including the first-ever women’s competition at Mavericks.

“Mavericks is one of the best big wave locations in the world and we are excited to open the holding period on November 1,” said Sophie Goldschmidt, WSL CEO. “Mavericks undoubtedly adds a new level to our Big Wave Tour, and we have a great opportunity to bring this event to the international stage. Hosting the women’s event at Mavericks has always been a priority for us when we acquired the event, and this year, conditions permitting, we could see the women’s event run for the first time ever.”

“Having Mavericks as one of three stops on the Big Wave Tour is very special,” said Mike Parsons, WSL BWT Commissioner. “With the Mavericks window opening next week, we will closely monitor all swells throughout the holding period to be ready to call the competition on within 48 hours’ notice. Mavericks will test the best big wave surfers, both male and female, and we are committed to holding the event in the best conditions possible.”

“Having an event at Mavericks for women is monumentous,” said Bianca Valenti, 2018/2019 Mavericks Challenge invitee. “This is a moment that I am really excited for. You have to have the opportunity in order to perform, so I think this is just going to be the beginning of really amazing women’s big wave surfing. I am just ready to go for it and explore the realm of possibility while everyone is watching and I want to put on a good show.


Two-time WSL Big Wave Champion Greg Long said, “When I heard that Mavericks was on Tour, I immediately thought that it was the missing piece of the big wave competitive puzzle we’ve been trying to put together for the last decade. We now have the best venues of anywhere in the world.”

Prior to the Mavericks Opening Ceremony, the WSL hosted a pioneering Big Wave Water Safety Training program with a special focus for competitors in the new women’s division. Conducted in collaboration with the Big Wave Risk Assessment Group, the curriculum featured advanced high surf risk management, rescue techniques, and resuscitation training to prepare competitors for the dangers of the Mavericks break. The Hawaii-based instructors included world-class surf rescue experts Brian Keaulana, Danilo Couto, Kohl Christesen, and Andrea Moller.

The 2018/2019 Big Wave Tour hosts three events: the Nazaré Challenge, the Jaws Challenge, and the Mavericks Challenge. Starting November 1, all holding periods will be open and the world’s best big wave surfers will await conditions that will produce waves in the 30-to-60-foot range. Once the decision is made to run the event, a “Green Alert” is issued and competitors will have 48 hours’ notice to be ready to compete.

2018/2019 Mavericks Challenge Competitors

Women’s Invitees: Paige Alms, Keala Kennelly, Justine Dupont, Bianca Valenti, Maya Gabeira, Sarah Gerhardt, Emily Erickson, Andrea Moller, Jamilah Star, One wildcard to be selected on Green Alert
Women’s Alternates: Wrenna Delgado, Laura Enever, Felicity Palmateer, Raquel Heckert, Easkey Britton, Silvia Nabuco

Men’s Invitees: Billy Kemper, Kai Lenny, Ian Walsh, Makuakai Rothman, Lucas Chianca, Jamie Mitchell, Tom Lowe, Alex Botelho, Greg Long, Natxo Gonzalez, Will Skudin, Grant Baker, Nathan Florence, Jojo Roper, Russell Bierke, Travis Payne, Patrick Shaughnessy, Matt Becker, Anthony Tashnick, Jason Stark, Hunter Murison , Peter Mel, Nic Lamb, One wildcard to be selected on Green Alert

Men’s Alternates: Ryan Hipwood, Tyler Fox, Luca Padua, Ryan Seelbach, Colin Dwyer, Ben Andrews, Kyle Thiermann

Once called on, the WSL Big Wave Tour events will be broadcast LIVE on WorldSurfLeague.com and the WSL’s Facebook page. Also check local listings for coverage from the WSL’s broadcast partners.

For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com.