HALF MOON BAY, Calif. —
The spot — named after Clark’s dog — has earned a nasty reputation. Mark Foo, a legendary big-wave surfer from Hawaii, died while surfing Mavericks in 1994. In 2011, another seasoned waterman, Sion Milosky, died there just weeks after another surfer nearly drowned.
Shane Dorian, who is considered the world’s best big wave surfer, pulled out at the last minute due to a shoulder injury.
This year’s contest was different than previous years: Spectators are forbidden access to the beach or bluffs. After a large set of waves crashed into the crowd in 2010, injuring dozens, local officials barred crowds from congregating there.
Also, people congregating on the bluffs and along tide pools during previous contests caused environmental damage.