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Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha … wipe out! Spectators swept away by wave at surf competition

Feb 13, 2010, 11:14 PM EDT

I asked a guy once why he attended the Mavericks surf competition each year, even though the traffic is horrendous, it’s crowded and you can’t see much from the beach. His answer: “It’s the only way I can feel like I’m part of the event.” He got his wish this year. At around 9:30 this morning, a large portion of the crowd at Pillar Point beach (near Half Moon Bay in Northern Calif.) was taken out by a couple of waves. And yes, we’ve got video! No, nobody’s sleeping with the fishes at this hour … injuries were mild. A guy had his leg broken, and, most horribly, someone lost his cell phone. Aside from that, it was very fun to watch. Photo at right: Everyone wave as the snack bar sets sail for Japan.
Drum solo!
Video following the jump.

Be sure to check out the action at the :45 seconds mark, as grandma takes a seaweed bath.

I love the media term “rogue waves.” These waves don’t play by your rules, dammit!
Friends try to get me to attend Mavericks every year — it’s about 20 miles from where my parents live — but not only is Saturday my sleep-in day, seagulls always steal my lunch. Let’s consider this incident my permanent regrets, okay?
From NBC San Diego:

Thirteen people were injured, with two immediately taken to hospitals. Eleven others were being treated at the beach for injuries including “a couple broken legs and broken hands and so forth,” according to California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection Battalion Chief Scott Jalbert. The waves knocked out a large scaffold holding speakers broadcasting the Mavericks Surf Contest.

The pain-inflicting monster swell was still top of mind as the winner was crowned at 3 p.m. South African surfer Chris Bertish took home the $50,000 purse. Shane Desmond finished in second place and Anthony Tashnick ended up in third.

Check out the dude here, at about the :52 seconds mark, who rushes to the aid of people swept up by the waves, but will not drop his beer. Check out this video as well.
Oh, and this is pretty cool.
More photos here. And here.
Mavericks 2010: Bone-crushing waves smack spectators [NBC San Diego]
Heavy surf at Mavericks injures at least 15 spectators; officials shut down access to area [Mercury News]

  1. Dee Mirich and the Supremes - Feb 14, 2010 at 1:22 AM

    Cowabunga, Aunt Bee!

  2. jim Guida - Feb 14, 2010 at 8:22 PM

    Was this a “surprise” wave that knocked everyone down or were these victims the same as the morons who, when they hear there is a tsumanme, rush down to the ocean to see it? Thank goodness no lives were lost. Cowabunga, indeed!