January 17, 2013

Live Blog: Mavericks Invitational Through The Eyes of Peter Mel

Congratulations Peter Mel! 2012 Mavericks Invitational Champion! The Santa Cruz local and Mavericks guru brought the title home for the first time since 2005 when local Anthony Tashnick won the event. Below is Peter’s first-hand experience leading up to and through the event which took place in super clean yet inconsistent 12-15ft surf at the fabled Northern California big-wave spot.

There’s a big blob growing in the North Pacific and everything is falling in place for California’s most notorious big wave spot to go mental. Peter Mel has loaded up the guns and is headed home to compete in the Maverick’s Invitational this Sunday alongside an elite crew of heavy water slayers. Peter will be giving us the play by play right here with images from his travels, Saturdays warm up surf, Sundays competition and other behind the scenes happenings. Good luck Pete!

4:22PM, January 21st - Two wins in two days! Super stoked for my son John who won the 14 and under USA Prime event at Steamer Lane today. Congrats John!

7:20pm, January 20th - A well deserved celebratory feast: Me, Healey, Mitcho, Zack, Rusty, and Manoa Drollet.

5:18PM, January 20th - And the 2013 Maverick's Invitational champion is...Peter Mel. Congrats Pete!

1:11PM, January 20th - Healey getting ready for his semi.

11:59AM, January 20th - A photo of me from my earlier heat. It's a bit inconsistent but when sets do come it's the real deal.

11:47AM, January 20th - Jamie Mitchell and Derek Dunfee best seats in the house.

10:30AM, January 20th - Ready, set, go...Zack is ready.

10: 26AM, January 20th - Healey resting in between Heats.

10:22AM, January 20th - That's one way to view the action.

10:01AM, January 20th - Mark Healey is all smiles after surfing Heat 1 and getting a great left.

9:45AM, January 20th - The channel is busy with spectators. Not here? Watch all the action live on surfline.com.

7:32AM, January 20th: Morning light, you can hear the waves breaking from the harbor...game on!

7:22AM, January 20th: Previous winner Grant "Twiggy" Baker and Frank Solomon pumped for the day's action.

7:18am, January 20th - Healey and captain Josh ready to motor to the channel to see what today brings us.

7:02am, January 20th - Morning launch. Air 58 degrees, water temp 53 degrees.

6:25am, January 20th - Mark Healey arrived prepared with guns in check.

6:02pm, January 19 - No jet skis are allowed in the mavericks line up because the area has become a marine sanctuary. So the crew heads out there on boats and what ever other vessels are legal. More boards then surfer on each boat because of challenging surf.

5:20pm, January 19th - My caddy, 10x Molokai Champ Jamie Mitchell and ski driver Luke Watson headed in after the warmup day.

5:09pm, January 19th - As far as conditions go it was the perfect day. No wind all day and a beautiful sunset. Now we just need the swell to be a bit bigger.

4:02pm, January 19th - With growing swell and a big period the swell can be a bit inconsistent. Before dark there were some promising sets and tomorrow we

3:17pm, January 19th - Jamie MItchell going deep on a bomb!

2:23pm, January 19th - Day before the contest warm up session with the boys.

9:47am, January 19th - Zach Wormhoudt is getting excited for his warm up. He's in heat 3.

8:12am, January 19th - Locked and loaded! Ready to take on what Sunday has to offer.

7:27am, January 19th - My co-worker Luke Watson, who will be out in the channel during the event.

7:14am, January 19th - Made it to Santa Cruz and assessing the weapons of choice for this weekend.

12:25PM, January 17th - Loaded up and leaving Newport Beach for Santa Cruz. 9 boards strapped to the roof. Got my trusty co-pilot and son, John Mel, with me who will be competing in the Surfing America Prime at Steamer Lane this weekend while I head to Mavs. Stay tuned for more updates and photos throughout the weekend.

11:02AM, January 17th - A first glimpse of the Heat Sheet for Sunday's big event. Stacked heats with 24 of the best big wave riders in the world. First heat here I come with fellow Quiksilver surfers Mark Healey and Kelly Slater...should be a good one.

10:52AM, January 16th - Peter checks the charts to see the predicted wind and swell directions. Looks good! Time to wrap up work at Quiksilver HQ and begin planning his mission to Northern California to Surf in the Mavericks Invitational.