World Surf League purchases rights to Mavericks big-wave surf contest

According to The Mercury News, the World Surf League has purchased the Mavericks big-wave surf contest from Cartel Management in a $525,000 deal.

“The proposed sale was revealed in a motion filed this week by present owner Cartel Management in association with its debtors,” The Mercury News story states. “A hearing for the sale's approval is scheduled Sept. 13.”

The sale must be approved by a U.S. District Bankruptcy Court judge in Los Angeles before being finalized. The motion for the hearing also requests that the San Mateo Harbor District permit to hold the surf event be transferred to the WSL.

Back in February, the organizers of the Titans of Mavericks event filed for bankruptcy. And we reported in June that the WSL was attempting to purchase the rights to the big-wave surf event.

After skipping last winter, the big-wave contest at Mavericks could be back again. Photo: Courtesy of Frank Quirarte/WSL

It remains to be seen if the WSL’s Big Wave Tour could get everything up and running for the contest this winter if the deal is approved in bankruptcy court. Plus, before the 2017-18 Big Wave Tour season began, the WSL had reduced the number of events from eight to only three.

The Mavericks contest has seen its ups and downs over the past two decades, when the idea of holding an invitational contest at the famed big-wave spot became a possibility. The contest license has shifted hands many times, and the bankruptcy problems that Cartel Management encountered caused the contest to be canceled last winter.

"A lot of us feel maybe we don't need this contest if it is going to be problems all the time," big-wave surfer Grant Washburn, who has competed in all 10 contests at Mavericks, told The Mercury News.

SVP of global brand identity for the WSL Dave Prodan told GrindTV of the purchase:

“WSL, Titans of Mavericks and Cartel Management can confirm that they have reached an agreement to secure the permit to run the Mavericks event as one of the Big Wave Tour stops at Mavericks. All are very excited about this. The WSL is waiting final approval by the judge who is overseeing the reorganization filing made earlier this year by Titans of Mavericks and Cartel Management, and will provide more information as the situation progresses. Mavericks is known everywhere as one of the iconic and dramatic big-wave locations in the world, and the WSL is looking forward to working with the San Mateo County Harbor District and the local community moving forward.”

Stay tuned to GrindTV for any further details of the proposed sale.

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