Mavericks Event Optimistic About February

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With no large storm systems on the horizon, an inaugural 2011 ‘The Jay at Mavericks Big Wave Invitational’ is beginning to look unlikely. “Everyone wants the contest to happen, but the waves aren’t cooperating,” said Frank Quirarte, water operations director for the group organizing a potential contest.

Quirarte pointed out the Dec. 1 to Feb. 28 contest window still has about a month left. Extending the window into March is not an option since San Mateo County Harbor Commission, which granted the contest organizers a permit to use harbor facilities, has plans for upcoming construction.

The contest’s official surf forecaster, Mark Sponsler, said he’s watching optimistically but “not holding (his) breath.” This year’s contest is looking less likely, in part because the ocean is entering an inactive phase of the Madden-Julian Oscillation, a roughly 30-day circulation pattern that goes from active – producing lots of waves – to inactive. On Feb. 1 the inactive phase kicked in.

Sponsler noted it’s highly experimental to do a forecast 30 days in advance, but still, “historically, the odds are not in our favor,” he said.

Read the full article at Half Moon Bay Review.