“The Jay” At Mavericks Gaining Support

Dave Wassel at Mavericks. Photo: jackenglish.com

Dave Wassel at Mavericks. Photo: jackenglish.com

Maverick’s Competitors, Surfing Community Unite to Support “The Jay at Maverick’s Big Wave Invitational”

Surfers Unanimously Vote for New Event; Will Not Support MSV Inc. Application

HALF MOON BAY, CALIF., Aug. 25, 2010 – Twelve years after it first took place, and six months after a record-breaking swell made global headlines, a group of Maverick’s competitors and long-time big wave event organizers has formed with intentions to produce the only big wave surf competition to take place at Maverick’s in the 2010-2011 season. The group recently submitted its permit application, which will be reviewed by the San Mateo County Harbor District on Sept. 1. The surfer’s group plans to name the event “The Jay at Maverick’s Big Wave Invitational” in honor of Jay Moriarity, one of the sport’s greatest watermen.

“We are close to making this grassroots effort a reality,” said Grant Washburn, a well-known surfer and one of The Jay at Maverick’s group organizers. “Watching the surfers and the community rally around The Jay has been incredible. By dedicating this event to his memory, and sharing the excitement and the prosperity with local youth groups, we will be channeling the Maverick’s energy to one of Jay’s favorite places.. the next generation.”

While recent Maverick’s events have been organized by Mavericks Surf Ventures Inc., event competitors – including last year’s 24 invitees and more than 50 of the world’s top big wave surfers – have pledged their support to The Jay at Maverick’s

The new group takes their responsibility to the competitors, fans, and the local community very seriously. They will launch a historic partnership with a number of local charities including the Half Moon Bay Parent Action Committee, The Boys and Girls Club on the Coast and the Jay Moriarity Foundation.

“To host an event that honors the spirit of Jay Moriartiy, a friend who personified pure stoke, and one that directly benefits the local community is a perfect fit. The vibe is incredible.” said Frank Quirarte, The Jay’s Operations/Safety Director.

“The competitors want this to be organized and run in a way that is true to the sport,” said Washburn. “Unfortunately, it has become increasingly clear that MSV’s focus is not on managing a world-class big wave surf contest. This is not only damaging to the Maverick’s event, but to the sport of surfing itself.”

Last year’s contest saw the largest prize purse offered in a big wave surf event – $150,000 – however, the significance of that prize to the sport was marred by the financial management of MSV. As in previous seasons, MSV failed to pay obligations to event staff, vendors, community organizations as well as competitors – including 2009-2010 contest champion Chris Bertish – within the agreed upon timeframe. This was a contributing concern for Barracuda Networks – a former sponsor of the Maverick’s contests – which decided to pull its support from MSV. The Jay at Maverick’s Big Wave Invitational will be presented by Barracuda Networks, which has committed to a three-year sponsorship of the event and is the only sponsor to date.

“We believe in what The Jay at Maverick’s group is aiming to accomplish with this year’s event, and we are more than willing to support the surfers and to the community at large that the event has the stability and resources that it needs to make this a successful for years to come,” said Michael Perone, CMO and executive vice president of Barracuda Networks and The Jay at Maverick’s Big Wave Invitational premier sponsor.

One of Surfing’s Favorite Sons
Jay Moriarity became famous through his mastering of the feared K2 of surfing’s big wave breaks, Maverick’s in Half Moon Bay, as a teenager. He passed away unexpectedly at the age of 22 in a diving accident while visiting the Maldives Islands in 2001. Before his passing, Jay was considered one of Big Wave surfing’s most dominant talents. His generous character and pure stoke gained him respect in and out of the water.

“The spirit with which Jay lived his life has inspired the Maverick’s community to move in a new direction,” said Peter Mel, a legendary surfer and member of the new organizing group. “We feel it is time to make a change.”

“The contributions of this passionate and talented group of individuals make the possibilities for The Jay at Maverick’s endless,” said Darren Brilhart, The Jay at Maverick’s event producer. “This event will become the crown jewel of Big Wave Surfing Contests.”

Next Steps
The group has formally asked MSV llc to withdraw its application, but a resolution has not been reached at this time. Following the decision by the San Mateo Harbor District, The Jay at Maverick’s organizers will iron out the details. No matter who gets the permit, this surfer’s group will have many issues that will need to be addressed. The ultimate goal will be to showcase the sport, raise funds and awareness for local charities, and do so with a premium placed on the preservation of the Maverick’s site, and safety.

“How we will promote the event, how and where spectators can take part in the event and other details are simply not set at this time. What is known is that we will adhere to all harbor and permit requirements and keep the safety of everyone – spectators, organizers, surfers – central to all planning.”

The San Mateo County Harbor District plans to review the permit applications for the event on Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2010 at 7 p.m. at the Comfort Inn in Half Moon Bay. Community members and The Jay at Maverick’s Big Wave Invitational supporters are encouraged to attend and show their support. Alternatively, supporters can email harbordistrict@smharbor.com.

About The Jay at Maverick’s Big Wave Invitational
Launched in 2010 with the support of the Maverick’s Big Wave competitors – including all Maverick’s Champions – and a group of dedicated event organizers, The Jay at Maverick’s Big Wave Invitational was designed to create a legacy befitting one of the world’s great natural wonders, and a tribute to one of its favorite sons. For more information, including biographies on the competitors and other key event organizers, please visit The Jay at Maverick’s Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/TheJayAtMavericks.

Quotes from Surfing Community/Supporters:
“I am stoked and honored to be a part of the new Jay at Maverick’s Big Wave Invitational, which will take the event back to the core roots and spirit of what the Maverick’s event should always be about: the love and passion of riding big waves, and the brotherhood and camaraderie we all share for surfing Maverick’s, which is truly the heaviest big wave spot on the planet. It will be a great honor surfing in memory of Jay, a true waterman, an inspiration, and positive surf and life icon. Live like Jay! Green light the Jay event!” – Chris Bertish, Maverick’s 2009-2010 Champion

“The Jay at Maverick’s is just is a good idea and a great fit for Maverick’s and Northern California. The Hawaiians have ‘The Eddie’ and we’ll have ‘The Jay.’ I’m in full support of the surfers and look forward to the new direction.” – Darryl “Flea” Virostko, Three-time Maverick’s Champion

“I support the Jay event 100%, and would be stoked to be involved and see this event become a success.” – Grant “Twiggy” Baker, 2006 Maverick’s Champion

“The big wave spirit and the bonds this crew has formed is forever, and they (surfers) ultimately have the spot, the community and the event’s best interest at heart….2010 was my last year competing, and nothing would please me more to see this contest in the hands of people who knew Jay dearly and can run an event that he would be proud of.” – Evan Slater, VP of Surf Marketing, Hurley

“I’m very honored to support ‘The Jay’ contest at Maverick’s. Jay’s spirit lives on in all of us. ‘The Jay’ is more than a contest. It’s a gathering of all the big wave brotherhoods from all corners of the world, doing what Jay loved, surfing Maverick’s!” – Jamie Sterling, Current Leader, Big Wave World Tour

“Having surfed Maverick’s since 1993 and having surfed in every surf contest held at Maverick’s, I am truly excited about the concept and potential of The Jay at Maverick’s. Maverick’s and Pillar Point are such tremendous and invaluable natural resources to Princeton, Half Moon Bay, California and the world that it is our obligation as surfers to preserve and protect this resource to the greatest extent possible.” – Zachary Wormhoudt, Maverick’s Competitor
“This is an amazing opportunity and with all of the key players still involved, it will surely be a huge success. I will be behind it 100 percent. Long live the The Jay at Maverick’s Big Wave Invitational!” – Greg Long, Maverick’s 2007-2008 Champion
“We’ll be representing the values of someone that all of us admire, which is Jay. We’re moving with good intentions.” – Carlos Burle, Current Big Wave World Champion
“Jay surfed Maverick’s every swell and every time he did, he had a huge smile. He absolutely loved surfing Maverick’s. He loved all the people who surfed Maverick’s and they loved him. So to honor Jay with the contest just makes sense. It is a perfect fit.” – Ken “Skindog” Collins, Billabong XXL World Champion and recent Mavericks Surf Contest Finalist

“Aloha and welcome to the apex of big wave surfing: Maverick’s, home of The Jay at Maverick’s Big Wave Invitational. It’s giant, sharky, and bitterly cold. Count me in.” – Dave Wassel, 2010 Recipient of the Jay Moriarity Sportsmanship Award