Although North California’s most famed big wave produced onlt a couple of major days this season, the Maverick’s Invitational Contest never happened. This didn’t stop the new event organizers from offering awards to those who charged on freesurf sessions throughout the winter. The judging panel for the inaugural Maverick’s Awards was hosted by contest director Jeff Clark and included author Bruce Jenkins, surfer/shaper Matt Ambrose, surfer/filmmaker Grant Washburn, and surfing legend Dick Keating. The gang watched hours upon hours of video footage and hundreds of photos taken during the season. Most of the award winning rides came from 2 swells: January 4th-5th and February 8th- 9th.
The standout and big winner of the awards was none other than the Big Island’s Shane Dorian, taking 3 of the 7 awards, including: Barrel of the Year, Bomb of the Year, and Male Performance of the Year. Dorian first surfed Maverick’s in 2010, but has yet to contend in the competition.
“This is a guy who came in here and was a man on a mission and just upped the bar for everybody.” Clark continued. “He set a new bar.”
Santa Cruz’s Savannah Shaughnessy took home the Maverick’s Female Performance of the Year award. “I surfed five days at Maverick’s, and that was the only clean day,” she said. “But it made all the other days of having to work and not getting many good waves worth it.”
Surfer Frank Quirarte acquired the Maverick’s Photo of the Year, taken of Skindog on a colossus, glassy freak on February 8th. “Every year amazing things happen in the water, and it’s overdue to reward that,” Skinny quipped. Quirarte dedicated his accolade to a fellow surf photographer and hero, Mike Prickett, who recently suffered from decompression saving the life of a fellow diver when filming a commercial video in Tahiti.
The only 2x Maverick’s champ, Darryl “Flea” Virostko, was honored with the Mavericks Legend award. In his acceptance speech, Virostko said,
“Mavericks made me, and it broke me. Thank you, it’s been fun.”
Complete list of 2011/2012 Mavericks Awards winners:
Mavericks Wipeout of the Year – Carlos Burle, Brazil
Mavericks Barrel of the Year – Shane Dorian, Hawaii
Mavericks Bomb of the Year – Shane Dorian, Hawaii
Mavericks Photo of the Year – Photographer Frank Quirarte, Pacifica; Surfer: Ken “Skindog” Collins, Santa Cruz
Mavericks Male Performance of the Year – Shane Dorian, Hawaii
Mavericks Female Performance of the Year – Savannah Shaughnessy, Santa Cruz
Mavericks Legend/Lifetime Achievement Award – Darryl “Flea” Virostko, Santa Cruz