Crowds Gather to Watch Mavericks

Santa Cruz’s Jamilah Star became the best unofficial story of this year’s Mavericks when she showed up and convinced organizers to let her paddle out. (Peter Adams)

From the rocky beaches of Half Moon Bay, Mavericks’ famous wave breaks don’t look large enough for aquatic-minded squirrels on water skis. And even during Sunday’s gridlock morning traffic on Highway 1, rubbernecking drivers couldn’t have made out the jersey colors on the surfers gliding the frigid walls of blue water if they squinted. But two miles from the shore, the most dangerous big wave surf competition on the West Coast was underway—where the ocean swell can snap surfboards like toothpicks in the mouth of a bulldog, as it did for competitor Rusty Long in the first heat.

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A Fundraiser for Hicko

Thomas Hickenbottom with wife Susan Allison (Photo by Chip Scheuer)

It’s 10am and Thomas Hickenbottom, one of the founding fathers of Santa Cruz surfing, is showcasing lattices of berries and fruit trees laden with the summer’s bounty in the Eden he has helped to create around his Westside home. Breathing deeply, he presses the stoma that has replaced the vocal chords he lost to cancer and whispers excitedly about the fundraiser being held in his honor on Saturday, July 21.

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PaddleFest to Draw Spray, Crowds

Ain't that swell? Photo by Dominick Lemarie & Stormick Photography.

The lineup of surfers anxiously awaiting a clean drop at Steamer Lane this weekend will have to wait a little longer. Here come three days of competitive surfing with a twist—the best paddle-powered wave riders the world over are set to take the beach by storm. After whipping wind and hail cut short the quarter-century-old competition last year, the Santa Cruz PaddleFest is back.

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