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One competitor torpedoes down a massive wave during the Mavericks Surf Contest. The official contest period runs from Jan. 1 through March 31. The exact date is determined after the contest organizers' meteorology expert predicts when waves will be at their peak. Participants must be ready to hit the beach with only 24 hours' notice.
Three's a crowd as these competitors fight for prime placement on a wave.
View from above
Thousands of people line the beaches and cliffs near Half Moon Bay for the 2006 Mavericks Surf Contest. Because the contest takes place half a mile offshore, binoculars are practically required to follow the action.