Griffin Guess

Women to compete at Mavericks!

To-date no women have competed in the Mavericks surf contest and the event does not include a women’s heat. Typically competitive surfing heats are not mixed gender. Requiring that top women athletes preform like top male athletes is unreasonable. By doing this the Titans of Mavericks board of directors and “Committee 5” have effectively blocked women from competing.

I support including an all women’s heat in the Mavericks event. Not a mixed gender heat.

 Paige Alms of Haiku, Maui

Please checkout my Thursday, Nov. 5, 2015 presentation to the California Coastal Commission. 

After my presentation Coastal Commissioner Mark Vargas of Los Angeles made a motion to amend the Coastal Development Permit for the Titans of Mavericks surf contest and add a condition to allow women to compete in the 2016-2017 event. Commissioner Martha McClure of Del Norte County seconded the motion.  The motion passed in a 7-4 vote.

Coastal Commission 7-4 vote count

  • Bochco - no
  • Cox - yes
  • Groom - no
  • Howell - yes
  • Lueveno - yes
  • McClure - yes
  • Shallenberger - no
  • Turnbull-Sanders - yes
  • Uranga - yes
  • Vargas - yes
  • Kinsey - no


Coastal Commissioner Mark Vargas made the following remarks and motion:  

“I'm still a little concerned about the fact that there is no clear plan for highlighting, involving, or encouraging the growth of women in this event or in this sport.  I would really love to see an amendment.  I understand that were too close to the event this year, but if this is going to be contemplated as an extension (permit extension) that could possibly have four more years of extension we should start contemplating a plan for encouragement and inclusion on women in this event. So that we (Coastal Commission) can review it, and have that information available for next year when this permit comes back up for renewal. I appreciate that it's a one time, one year permit but Mavericks has been going on for a long time and Mavericks will continue to go on.  I'm sure we'll be back here next year and it would be unfortunate if we don't start planning now for the inclusion of women and to see more women involved in this program, and not wait until a year from now.  
I'll float it out there.  I'd like to see if I can make an amending motion to add a specific condition that we ask the applicant to provide a plan for encouraging equal opportunity for women surfers in future events.”


My presentation is 2:10:37 minutes into the video and the motion is 2:56:24 into the video.

 Maya Gabeira of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil


News links:

Mavericks needs women

Half Moon Bay Review — Op-Ed by Sabrina Brennan — Jan 27, 2016

Just Add Water: Women seek equal footing at Mavericks

Santa Cruz Sentinel — Haven Livingston — Dec 19, 2015

Half Moon Bay local Sabrina Brennan presented a sideshow of female big wave surfers during the California Coastal Commission hearing in November when the commission approved a coastal development permit for the Titans of Mavericks big wave surf contest. Brennan, also a San Mateo Harbor Commissioner, said she attended the meeting as a concerned citizen. She has been watching women surf Mavericks, located near the Pillar Point Harbor, for years and has been disappointed to never see them in the contest. She intended to illuminate inequality in the selection process that newcomer Cartel Management and its “Committee 5” use to select Titans of Mavericks invitees.

Mavericks Faces Pressure for Women to Surf Big-Wave Contest

Forum KQED radio — host Mina Kim — Fri, Dec 11, 2015

  • Guests: Bianca Valenti, professional surfer and Bruce Jenkins, sports columnist, San Francisco Chronicle

Women want spot in big wave surf competition in California

Washington Post — By Kristin J. Bender — Dec 5, 2015

How Women Will Evolve Big Wave Surfing

Inertia — by Beth O'Rourke — Nov. 16, 2015

Add women to Mavericks lineup and be on right side of history

Half Moon Bay Review — by Clay Lambert — Nov. 11, 2015

Women to get fair shake at Mavericks

Santa Cruz Sentinel — by Haven Livingston — Nov. 6, 2015

Titans gets Coastal Commission approval: Permit issued for Mavericks surf competition

San Mateo Daily Journal — by Samantha Weigel — Nov. 6, 2015

Mavericks organizers get crucial last permit

Half Moon Bay Review — by Carina Woudenberg — Nov. 5, 2015