Big Wave Tour, Women to surf Mavericks, Felicity Palmateer, Amanda Lulham, women in surfing

BIG wave surfer Felicity Palmateer has praised as “epic’’ a green light for women to compete alongside the men at one of the scariest waves in the world – Mavericks.

The World Surf League has jumped in to resuscitate the famed Titans of Mavericks event in Northern California and women will be part of the new era as it joins the WSL Big Wave Tour for the first time.

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Mavericks is notorious as one of the most dangerous waves in the world, whipped up by storms in the Pacific Ocean, unpredictable, deadly and cold. It has also been the subject of countless documentaries and movies, including the recent Chasing Mavericks

The WSL has confirmed “the world’s best female big surfers will also have the opportunity to compete this upcoming season at Mavericks”.

Felicity Palmateer created history by competing at Jaws last year.Source: The Daily Telegraph

“Anything that gives women in surfing more opportunity is great,’’ said Palmateer, who holds the Australian women’s record for riding a 25 foot wave at Cow Bombie in Western Australia,

“This is so good, really exciting and has been a long time coming, This is just epic. For women to be surfing at Mavericks is incredible.’’

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The waiting period for the event at Mavericks, the Pe’ahi Challenge in Hawaii and the Nazare Challenge in Portugal, opens on October 15 and runs through until the end of December.

Palmateer has already received her invitation to compete at Jaws after last year finishing third in the Pe’ahi Challenge where women charged for the first time in a historic moment for surfing.

The Big Wave Tour only runs when surf reaches the 30-foot-plus mark and can be mobilised on 72 hours’ notice. It is understood the women’s field for the Mavericks event, if mobilised, will be six-strong.

Felicity Palmateer is hoping to surf at Mavericks in monster surf..Source: News Corp Australia
Laura Enever, upper left, and Felicity Palmateer, ride a wave at Jaws, Pic: WSL.Source: Supplied

“I don’t know who is going to be able to surf at Mavericks but I’d love to be there,’’ said Palmateer on the recovery from a MCL injury.

“The cold will add a new dimension. I might be more scared of that than the wave.’’

American Sarah Gerhardt was the first women to surf at Mavericks back in 1999 when she was 24 and was one of the women invited to surf before the last invite-only event at Mavericks was cancelled. prior to this the event was closed to women surfers.

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“The WSL intends to continue to run the Mavericks event and celebrate the stories of those who steward and surf it through the Big Wave Tour. This is a huge moment for both the organisation and the sport of surfing, ” said World Surf League CEO Sophie Goldschmidt.

In other news, the Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau Big Wave Invitational is in jeopardy after sponsorship negotiations broke down.