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Mavericks Big-Wave Surfing Contest to Take Place Friday

The event will be held at the legendary surf break near Half Moon Bay, Calif.
Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2013
Mavericks Big-Wave Surfing
Ion Banner drops into a giant wave at the 2010 Mavericks Surf Contest in Half Moon Bay, Calif., on Feb. 13, 2010. (Corbis)

With a huge swell hitting central California this week, organizers of the legendary Mavericks Invitational big-wave surfing competition near Half Moon Bay declared that the event would take place this Friday, Jan. 24. 2014.

The competition at the deadly surf break is held only when organizers determine conditions will be just right. Twenty-four of the world's best big-wave surfers will compete.

Early on Wednesday, Jan. 22, organizer Jeff Clark said a decision on whether to hold the one-day event would be postponed because the swell would likely combine with a strong southerly wind. "This combination can make it very dangerous, not only for competitors but for all boats out in the water," he wrote on the competition's Facebook page.

But Wednesday afternoon, he posted another update: "IT'S ON! We have a GREEN LIGHT for the contest for Friday, January 24, 2014. First heat takes off at 8 a.m."

For the first time, this year's competition will be broadcast live on the Universal Sports Network.

RELATED ON SKYE: 10 Incredible Photos of Surfers Riding Giant Waves
Garret McNamara Oahu, Hawaii

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