There are several massive North Pacific swells slated to hit the Bay Area coastline later this week, but the Mavericks Invitational won't be contested until at least January.
The window to hold the contest, which hasn't been held the last two seasons, opened Nov. 9 and extends through March 31.
But staging the one-day event at the surf break off Pillar Point Harbor requires a number of blackout days due to the unavailability of local agencies involved.
"While the Christmas and New Year holidays often bring swell, the holidays have a major impact on staffing for law enforcement and local agencies (Sheriff, Fire, Parks, CHP, Harbor District, etc.)," event organizers wrote on their website. "Therefore, they have blacked out the dates of December 18 through January 1."
Access to the Pillar Point Air Force Station, which sits atop the cliff overlooking Mavericks and is a key location for filming, photographing and monitoring safety at the event, is also limited. That includes an 11-day stretch at the end of January, a window that often brings great wave and weather conditions.
Six other days in February and six in March are also blacked out due to air station restrictions.
A blast of powerful west northwest swell could push Mavericks' wave heights into the 30-foot-plus range Friday and Saturday, but rain and wind could make it less than ideal for surfing.
The last contest held at Mavericks, on Feb. 10, 2010, proved to be the most epic day of paddle-in big-wave surfing ever contested. For a look back at the sights and sounds, go to http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_14396236
Contact Mark Conley at email@example.com