HALF MOON BAY (CBS SF) -- The first time in its history, the famed Titans of Mavericks surf competition will have a heat featuring the best female big wave surfers in the world, organizers said Friday.
The official announcement came at the event's open ceremony Friday and ends years of struggle by female surfers to be included in the legendary competition.
Now a committee including Mavericks legend Jeff Clark will assemble the six-women competition field by early November. Candidates for the 24 male competitors, eight alternates and eight wildcards have already been chosen.
"We're looking for absolute the best of the best for performance in the water," Clark said.
Bianca Valenti, a 29-year-old Mavericks regular from San Francisco, may be among the favorites for the inaugural title. She has won the women's big-wave event at the Dive N'Surf Pro Nelscott Reef and the 2012 SeaHawaii Women's Pipeline Pro.
"It's a huge door of opportunity for us," Valenti said. "We are not trying to push out way into the Titans event, but it's an exciting opportunity to progress the conversation around developing a tour for women in big wave surfing."
Getting invited is the first of the major hurdle, the second relies on Mother Nature.
Competition organizers will begin monitoring weather reports in early November, looking for the most promising approaching storm fronts that churn up the monstrous surf at the legendary Mavericks surf break off the Pillar Point coast near Half Moon Bay.
The window to hold the contest will open on Nov. 1 and close on March 31, 2017.
Once storm front is spotted, organizers will then give competitors 24 hours to fly in to challenge the thundering surf.
Some years, the call has never come as the storms off the coast have not produced waves big enough.
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