HALF MOON BAY, CA – The Mavericks community gathered at the San Benito House in Half Moon Bay, California on April 29th, 2023, to celebrate the top performers of the winter surf season at the MAVERICKS AWARDS. The sold-out event hosted over 400 attendees who mingled with the athletes and watched various video segments highlighting stories from the season, the best rides, worst wipeouts, and rivalries amongst the local crew that pushed the progression of big wave surfing through friendly competition.
A unique segment featured Brazil’s Kalani Lattanzi, the first person to bodysurf the big wave trifecta: Jaws, Nazaré, and Mavericks. He dedicated the accomplishment to his mother who raised him on her own.
Bodysurfer Kalani Lattanzi accomplished his dream this season of testing the waters at Mavericks. Photo: Jack Sandler
The next video segment told a story of two friends from Santa Cruz, Ryan Augenstein and Alo Slebir, who traded off waves this season focusing on the inside bowl. Their barrel hunting prowess proved to be some of the best surfing of the year at Mavericks. Augenstein claimed the Ride of the Year Award for a spectacular tube ride on the inside bowl, and Slebir was crowned the Performer of the Year after showing his commitment to high-performance surfing in big waves.
Mavericks veteran, Ryan Augenstein, claimed the 2023 “Ride of the Year” Award. Photo: Jack Sandler
The final video segment featured the women of Mavericks, focused around the mentorship of big wave pioneer Bianca Valenti taking 16-year-old Zoe Chait under her wing. Showing her the lineups and lending her safety gear, Valenti took Chait out to Mavericks for her first time this season. The Half Moon Bay local girl borrowed a 9’6’’ gun from none other than Jeff Clark in order to get into the wave of her life. The video segment followed the two ladies to Waimea and Pipeline, as they surfed the big waves on the North Shore.
For the second year in a row, Bianca Valenti swept the podium in every women’s category, claiming the Biggest Wave, Ride of the Year, and Performer of the Year. The San Francisco surfer proved her dominance in the water, often the only woman in the lineup amongst a sea of the hardest charging male surfers. Her strength and dedication to the wave has opened the doors for other women who dream to follow in her footsteps as big wave surfers.
2023 Mavericks Awards winner Bianca Valenti paves the way for the next generation of female surfers, Zoe Chait. Photo: Jack Sandler
The Biggest Wave Award was given to San Clemente’s Greg Long, who only surfed the spot one day this winter but proved to be in the right spot at the right time. His massive drop and successful ride to the channel proved to be the largest ridden wave of the season. In his acceptance speech, he announced that he will be donating the prize earnings to the Mavericks Rescue Team, who provide voluntary water safety for the surfers caught in dangerous situations.
The official 2023 Mavericks Awards winners were:
BIGGEST WAVE (MALE): Greg Long
BIGGEST WAVE (FEMALE): Bianca Valenti
RIDE OF THE YEAR (MALE): Ryan Augenstein
RIDE OF THE YEAR (FEMALE): Bianca Valenti
PERFORMER OF THE YEAR (MALE): Alo Slebir
PERFORMER OF THE YEAR (FEMALE): Bianca Valenti
Greg Long donated his winnings from the Mavericks Awards to the Mavericks Rescue Team. Photo: Jack Sandler
A packed venue at San Benito House hosted over 400 people for the Mavericks Awards. Photo: Jack Sandler
If you missed the in-person Awards, you can watch the full show now on the Mavericks Awards YouTube channel.
Thanks to the generous partners and sponsors of the MAVERICKS AWARDS:
805 Beer, Grey Goose, Guayaki, Hassett Ace Hardware, Half Moon Bay Brewing Company, Half Moon Bay Winery, Harbor View Inn, Manera, Mavericks Festival, No Rush Studios, McFishy Industries, Oceano Hotel & Spa, Pacific Catch, Patron, San Benito House, Santa Teresa, Save The Waves Coalition, Sea Hugger, Stillhouse, The Graphic Works, Topo Chico, White Claw, United States Coast Guard, and ZICO.
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