The A List Series: Grant Washburn - In Conversation with Bruce Macgowan.
Years before anyone imagined a high-stakes surf contest off Half Moon Bay, Grant Washburn was among a dozen or so wetsuit-clad surfers who dripped into the Roadhouse Café to devour the sour cream and guacamole-laden “breakfast in a barrel” and tell stories about the massive waves at a largely unknown spot called Mavericks.
Since the first official contest in 1998, Mavericks has morphed from an obscure surfing phenomenon into the home of one of the world’s most famous big-wave events. Tens of thousands of spectators now flock to Half Moon Bay for the annual competition, and last year the total prize money swelled to $150,000.
But throughout the years, friends say, Washburn has remained focused on one thing: the waves. They can break as high as 50 or 60 feet at Mavericks. He studies them like a scientist, recording the data in a calendar.
He knows the waves so well that he can look at a picture and likely tell you what day it was taken. “Big wave surfing,” he said, “is something you do because you can’t help it.”
Because of his unabashed dedication to the sport, Washburn has become an unofficial face for a campaign by competitive surfers, local photographers and surf contest organizers to assume management of the Mavericks competition.
Official Website: http://www.142throckmortontheatre.org
Added by cmargaritafranco on February 2, 2012