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Women To Be Allowed Into Mavericks Surf Competition For 1st Time

HALF MOON BAY (CBS SF) -- As if the big barrel waves of the Titans of Mavericks competition weren't daunting enough to conquer, getting to ride one in competition as a woman is even more difficult. But, that is all about to change.

"It's a huge door of opportunity for us. We're not trying to push our way into the Titans event, but it's a great way to progress the conversation around getting a women's tour," big wave surfer Bianca Valenti said.

The Titans of Mavericks competition is held in Half Moon Bay on some of the biggest and most dangerous waves, but to keep its permit from the Coastal Commission next year, mavericks has to create a plan to include women in its events.

A woman has never been one of the 24 chosen to compete in all the 15 years of the competition, although they have been alternates.

"We are looking for the absolute best of the best in the water," Jeff Clark, Water Marshall for the event said.

Whether they can or not is decided by a committee of five experts in big wave surfing comprised of all men. But, even women like Bianca agree they're not as good as the best male surfers.

So it's no surprise organizers bristle at being told what to do by the coastal commission, who was never involved in the competition until this year. So Jeff's leaving the ladies up to it, but Bianca says the women will take care of themselves in time.

So, Jeff's leaving the ladies up to the Coastal Commission. Bianca says the women will take care of themselves in time.

"I think they are outside their scope of jurisdiction at this point. I hope they find a great sponsor and put on a great women's event," Clark said.

"Women have a place in the lineup just like men have a place in the lineup. Cause the ocean doesn't see male or female. The wave is the wave. It doesn't matter if you're a man or woman, if you want to ride that wave and climb that mountain you can do it," Valenti said.

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