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2014 Mavericks big wave surfing competition is on




Shawn Dollar competes in the finals during the Mavericks Invitational surf competition on January 20, 2013 in Half Moon Bay, California.
Shawn Dollar competes in the finals during the Mavericks Invitational surf competition on January 20, 2013 in Half Moon Bay, California.
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

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Every year, the surf world waits with rapt anticipation to see if conditions will be just right to deliver that perfect swell for the Mavericks Invitational big wave surfing competition.

And on Wednesday afternoon, the waves — and the good news — finally broke: Mavericks is on.

"I track the swells and when we find a swell that's going to deliver waves of 30 to 40 feet then we make the call," said Jeff Clark, Mavericks organizer. "Mavericks is actually breaking. My expectations are for some of the biggest waves we've ever seen at Mavericks." 

So this morning at 8 o'clock, 24 intrepid surfers suited up for those monumental waves. The water patrol is on jet skis to assist with any emergencies and most of the surfers are wearing life preservers.

Watch Live: 2014 Mavericks Invitational

The Mavericks break is known for its treacherous conditions . In fact, two surfers have died there and shattered boards and bodies are a frequent sight during the competition. This year is expected to be among the most dramatic with sets of waves up to 40 feet.