The contest started just after 8 a.m. with 30 minute heats of six surfers, each wearing a different color jersey to help identify them to the judges.
The ocean was smooth as glass and then, without warning, the water would rise up and you see a tiny speck of color sliding down the face of the wave. That is when you realize how big these waves are compared to the souls that ride them.
There were long periods between sets. The surfers would sit patiently for up to 20 minutes, looking out to a calm sea and enjoying the beautiful weather, followed by a minute of extreme exhilaration, what would only be terror to me, as the waves appeared and crashed with a roar.
Here's a series of photos that show the action on a few of the more dramatic moments of the Mavericks contest.
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