World Surf League attempting to buy bankrupt Mavericks big-wave contest

After canceling this past winter’s Titans of Mavericks big-wave contest due to financial issues, organizers Cartel Management Inc. and Titans of Mavericks LLC filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy back in February. They have since been attempting to sell the licenses and assets, with a June 1 scheduled auction.

But that auction was cancelled, and The Mercury News is reporting that the World Surf League (WSL) has been attempting to purchase the rights.

The WSL operates the Big Wave Tour, which recently shrank to only three contests for this year. Obviously, they would love to add a high-profile event and wave like Mavericks to the mix for the right price.

The WSL’s Dave Prodan confirmed to The Mercury News that the WSL is attempting to purchase the contest: “If there is an opportunity for the WSL to acquire those assets we will. If they opt to sell those assets to another party, the WLS will reach out to another party to see if a partnership could be formed. If there is not a deal to be made with Cartel, the WSL will still pursue any other available avenues with regards to obtaining the correct permits to run an event.”

Hopefully a 2017-18 Mavericks contest can happen. Photo: Courtesy of Benjamin C. Ginsberg/WSL

The Mercury News also reports that the WSL’s initial offer was rejected by the Cartel and Titans ownership. While details of that offer are not known, bidding at the June 1 auction was supposed to start at the $1 million mark.

If the WSL can work out an acceptable offer to the Cartel and Titans ownership, it still remains a question whether or not the WSL could obtain all necessary permits and handle the logistics to get a contest running for the 2017-18 winter. As The Mercury News noted:

“Even if the World Surf League got control of Mavericks, it is not clear new operators could secure all the permits in time for the 2017-18 season that begins in November. A U.S. District Bankruptcy Court judge last week granted Cartel a continuance until Sept. 20 to reorganize. It’s doubtful a transfer of sale could be approved before that date.”

Whether or not that could happen for this winter if a sale does happen, it is a good step in the right direction. Hopefully the WSL would be able to add the event to their slimmed-down Big Wave Tour schedule and give the big-wave community the Mavericks contest the surfers, and the wave, deserve.

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