Big Wave at Mavericks at Northern California Surfing Contest Takes Out Spectator Stands


“RADICAL!” ROGUE WAVE/Surf’s up and over! 13 people were injured and at least 40 people were knocked off their feet at Pillar Point.

Surfing contest at Mavericks on Saturday with a swell that was larger than expected — 22 feet at 17 seconds (the period between waves) on the Half Moon Bay buoy. Wave faces of 50 feet and beyond were occurring. About 12 surfers were injured in wipeouts.

Chris Bertish of South Africa was awarded the $50,000 first-prize check.

A series of waves crashed into some of the thousands of fans who were watching the Maverick surf contest. Just after 9 a.m. Saturday, 13 people were injured and at least 40 people were knocked off their feet near Pillar Point. Three people were transported by ambulance to local hospitals. Broken bones were among the injuries, which included a broken leg and a fractured ankle. Many of the spectators were standing on a short concrete wall and were thrown back into rocks or mud by a huge wave. Electronics equipment, amplifiers, speakers and tables were also tossed by the wave that hit between San Francisco and Santa Cruz in San Mateo County.


View Strange World in a larger map of Pillar Point at Mavericks surf contest near Half Moon Bay in Northern California