World's top big wave surfers competing in the Mavericks Invitational surf contest

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Associated Press

Posted on January 20, 2013 at 1:30 PM

HALF MOON BAY, Calif. (AP) — More than two dozen of the world's top big wave surfers are in the waters off of Half Moon Bay, Calif., as they compete in the Mavericks Invitational surf contest.

The contest — which requires wave faces of at least 20 feet — is being held for the first time since 2010.

Earlier this week forecasters saw an excellent mixture of swell, wind, tide and sunny skies, though the waves Sunday weren't quite as big as expected.

Still, a high surf advisory was in effect for the area and officials are warning people throughout the region to watch for "sneaker waves" and other hazards.

Though spectators aren't being allowed access to nearby beach or bluffs to watch the contest, surfing fans swept into Half Moon Bay early Sunday, backing up traffic along Highway 1.

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APPHOTO NY107: FILE - In this file photo from Saturday, Feb. 13, 2010, Ion Banner loses control on a giant wave during the Mavericks surfing contest in Half Moon Bay, Calif. As massive swells lumber across the Pacific toward Northern California, nearly two dozen of the world's best big wave surfers will be waiting to meet them Sunday, Jan. 20, 2013, a half-mile offshore at the infamous surfing break Mavericks. For the first time since 2010, the Mavericks Invitational surf contest — which requires wave faces of at least 20 feet — will occur at the bone-crushing break that has claimed the lives of two expert big wave surfers. (AP Photo/Ben Margot, File) (13 Feb 2010)

<<APPHOTO NY107 (02/13/10)>>

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