Expect the Unexpected at California Surfing Events

In surfing events, the surprises generally involve an unexpected great wave, or in some cases no waves worth riding during the competition, which happened in Huntington Beach at the US Open of Surfing several years ago. Such conditions aren't particularly exciting for spectators. However, viewer audiences can get more than they bargain for. Pictured is a surfing event that happened last weekend in Sunset Beach, the Surfside 70s annual competition in its 13th year. Winds blew down the announcer tents unexpectedly, and the crowd scrambled as canvas and metal pipes began to tumble.

UN-LUCKY 13 - On February 13, 2010 a crowd of 40,000+ people jammed into beaches north of Half Moon Bay (Bay Area) for the extreme surfing competition called MAVERICKS. The event is all about huge waves, and only the finest, strongest surfers are invited to participate due to the dangerous conditions. With waves measuring up to 80 feet, this event is the annual highlight for the region. However, a rogue wave took the crowd by surprise, destroying announcer stands, stranding viewers, and injuring 13 spectators, some who were taken to the hospital and treated for cuts, broken bones, etc. Chris Bertish won that contest so the Number 13 proved to be lucky for him.

March 16, 2011 was the day world class surfer, 35-year old Hawaii native Sion Milosky, took his last ride-and it happened at Mavericks. A fellow surfer watched Milosky get caught in a two-wave hold down after successfully riding 6 waves. It was Milosky's goal to participate in Mavericks some day. He left behind two young daughters.

Surfing competitions pit men, women, girls and boys against the elements and other competitors, of course. Part of winning has to do with talent, and part with opportunity. Each participant has to make decisions as to whether to catch a particular wave rolling in. Once the decision is made to ride it, your goal is to make it look like the best ride ever.

Thanks to nature, surprises at surfing competitions come in many flavors. Sometimes the surprises involve the audiences, as well.


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