Brennan has fought to bring greater transparency and efficiency to the Harbor District’s operations.
“The most important sports development on the coast in a long time may also involve pioneering women. By virtue of a motion made by California Coastal Commissioner Mark Vargas, of Los Angeles, the Mavericks surf contest organizers are encouraged to allow women to compete at one of the world’s premier big waves, on a stage that has been hogged by men since it was discovered decades ago.This is a good idea that came from San Mateo County Harbor Commissioner Sabrina Brennan, who suggested it before Thursday’s Coastal Commission vote. The commission gave Mavericks organizers a coastal development permit, clearing the way for this season’s event, with the proviso that they include women going forward.
There was an activist at the California Coastal Commission meeting that was our “secret angel”. She was the one that pushed the issue of allowing women to participate in the contest. This made sense, because The Coastal Commission strongly stands by access to the coastline for all, meaning women have to be allowed participation in the competition.
“Coastal Commissioner and county Supervisor Carole Groom said she was pleased to support the Titians of Mavericks surf contest. “It’s a world-class event.”The Coastal Commission granted a one-year permit after a suggestion by Harbor Commissioner Sabrina Brennan to included a condition that Cartel have a plan for incorporating women surfers into the event when it returns next season’s permit.
“Half Moon Bay resident Sabrina Brennan, who holds the elected position of San Mateo County Harbor District commissioner but appeared at the hearing as a member of the public, raised the issue during the public comment portion of the meeting. During her three minutes on the floor, Brennan requested the Coastal Commission require the contest include a women’s heat because, she said, it was unreasonable to expect women to compete directly against the men for one of the 24 slots that are chosen by a group of veteran Mavericks surfers dubbed “the Committee 5.” She also pointed out that the five-year permit recently issued by the Harbor Commission to Cartel (event management group) precludes any other big wave surf contests from being held during that span, meaning there could not be a separate women’s contest at Maverick’s.Coastal Commissioner Mark Vargas motioned to amend the Coastal Development Permit to ask the Cartel to provide a plan for encouraging equal opportunity for women surfers in future events. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Martha McClure and after some discussion the motion was narrowly passed by a 7-4 vote.