South African takes Mavericks prize

By on Sat, February 13, 2010

Deborah Hahn
Spectators enjoy the view of Mavericks from Pillar Point Bluff

Chris Bertish of South Africa won the $50,000 first-place prize at Mavericks, reports the County Times.

After riding a wave successfully, he got caught inside and took three giant waves on the head. Somehow he had scored well enough on his previous two waves to advance to the semis. There he wowed the judges with a hotdog maneuver, attempting to pull into the barrel—a feat rarely attempted, or possible, at Mavericks. [...]

Half Moon Bay’s Ion Banner set the tone with a dramatic air drop in heat one. He dropped down into the wave’s trough while his board flew backwards in the air. As 25 feet of whitewater barreled down on top of him, Banner’s trusty big-wave gun snapped in half and he surfaced coughing up blood.

Tim West of Half Moon Bay did his best skipping rock impression in heat two. The wave’s energy sucked him to the bottom where his head met the rock reef

Santa Cruz’s Peter Mel, a sentimental favorite among his peers, surfed brilliantly in his first heat, but couldn’t seem to find a good wave in his semifinal heat. His fellow Santa Cruzan, Darryl "Flea" Virostko, a three-time Mavericks champion, did manage to get a good one but couldn’t find another solid score to pair it with.

More details at the County Times site.