Chris Bertish of South Africa won the 2009/2010 Mavericks Surf Contest by aggressively paddling into monster surf that many were calling 40-foot and higher, with some reports of 60-foot waves that no one was able to catch.
"I took the worst beating of my life out there," Bertish told Surfline after the event.
A crowd of approximately 50,000 fans at Half Moon Bay also watched Anthony Tashnick win the "Gnarliest Drop" Award and Dave Wassel claim the Jay Moriarity Award, given to the surfer who best exemplifies the spirit and passion that Jay was famous for.
After more than three months of waiting, the event went off in waves that Wassel called, "undoubtedly the largest surf any paddle-in contest has ever seen." Other surfers echoed that sentiment, including 2008 Mavericks winner and this year's Quiksilver Eddie Aikau Invitational winner, Greg Long, who said, "The entire book of big wave surfing was rewritten today."
The surf was so big that one rogue wave even took out some spectators (video below). Our thoughts are with those that were injured while watching the event.
-- Jennifer L. Schwartz