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God’s dunking booth: surfers brave 30-foot waves, icy temperatures, random toys at Mavericks Surf Competition

Jan 21, 2013, 4:19 PM EDT

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Mavericks Invitational Getty Images

Trouble: this wave. More trouble: there’s probably at least one shark in there. Pater Mel, 43, of Santa Cruz was crowned champion of the 2013 Mavericks Surf Competition in Half Moon Bay (near San Francisco) on Sunday. He did it despite this rather pronounced dunking, and the fact that he’s, well, 43. Other fun facts about the event:

Organizers needed permission from Vandenberg Air Force base to use its Pillar Point installation for judges and photographers. If only someone from the base had the moxie to say: “Charlie don’t surf!”

Greg Long, the 2008 Mavericks champion, surfed for the first time since nearly drowning in a competition last month.

And I’m beginning to suspect that there was something not quite legit about women’s division (see below).

source: AP