July 23, 2019

NBC Bay Area - Robert Handa

Elite Surfers Sure to Make Waves at Tokyo Olympics

July 18, 2019

San Francisco Chronicle - Bruce Jenkins

Surfing finds its place in women’s fight for equal pay

July 16, 2019

Video by You Rip App

Women Earn Equal Prize Money at 2019 Puerto Escondido Cup!

Great teamwork by Keala Kennelly, Bianca Valenti, friends, fans and family. We hope the Surf Open League does the right thing in 2020.

July 11, 2019

The Cut - Amanda Arnold

Gaze Upon the Glory of the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team in Deep-V Suits

Love your athletic body!

July 7, 2019

Slate - Daniel Politi

Crowd in Stadium Starts Chanting “Equal Pay” After U.S. Women’s Team Wins World Cup

Ecstatic chanting!

July 5, 2019

New York Times - Jeré Longman

The Sports Bra Seen Round the World Has New Meaning 20 Years Later

“You have to be brave enough to be vulnerable,” Brandi Chastain said, adding: “Vulnerability is not weakness. It’s an opportunity for high reward.”

July 3, 2019

Marie Claire Italy - Silvia Criara

Le donne del surf conquistano l'Oceano

July 2, 2019

The Inertia - Dylan Heyden

Female Surfers Want to Finish Their Season at Pipeline, Too

The World Surf League did not respond to multiple requests for comment, so the underlying reason for the women’s Championship Tour not concluding at Pipeline alongside the men’s CT remains elusive. But, clearly the surfers are interested in it.

July 2, 2019

The Players’ Tribune - Op-Ed by Sue Bird

So the President F*cking Hates My Girlfriend

“Megan is at the boss level in the video game of knowing herself.“
–Sue Bird

July 2, 2019

Climbing - Hannah Gartner

Small Climber, Big Goals: 10-Year-Old Selah Schneiter’s Journey to Become the Youngest Person to Climb the Nose

July 1, 2019

Bianca Valenti’s 2019 Puerto Escondido Cup Go Fund Me Campaign

Surfers & Superheros = #viva!

When things get hard, what reenergizes me is imagining the positive impact we will create for kids. Possibilities I imagined when I was 7 turned into tough realities in my teens. It has never been ok with me that girls working their hearts out and achieving the same wins earn less than boys. My dream for kids now is to be able to focus strictly on performance and not have to worry about equal pay and inclusion. With your support we grow stronger and more becomes possible. Thank you, every little bit helps in support of equal pay and opportunity for everyone. - Bianca Valenti

June 28, 2019

The Guardian - Caitlin Murray in Paris & Sam Morris

Revealed: the $730,000 gender pay gap in US World Cup bonuses

The US women’s team have earned $90,000 in bonuses for reaching the World Cup quarter-finals, a sum that would be six times higher were they entitled to the same bonus structure as their men’s counterparts.

June 28, 2019

Washington Post - Steve Goff in Paris

Megan Rapinoe stands tall, and women’s soccer gets a showcase, as U.S. beats France

Megan Rapinoe — the focal point of attention on the field by her exploits and off it for her outspoken opinions on politics, race and gender equality — scored twice for the second consecutive match as the Americans advanced to play England on Tuesday in Lyon.

June 28, 2019

Deadspin - Lauren Theisen

Purple-Haired Lesbian Goddess Flattens France Like A Crêpe

Happy San Francisco Dyke March!

June 24, 2019

The Sydney Morning Herald

Fitzgibbons wins Rio Pro final to claim world No.1 ranking

"It feels pretty delightful," Sally Fitzgibbons said.

“Just coming in and receiving that welcome back to the beach, that was insane, and some of my mates cheering me up the beach and a big hug from my dad.”

"It's pretty cool to be standing here."

The Gerroa local leads the world rankings on 32,580 points with Moore on 31,175 and Gilmore in third on 30,320.

June 24, 2019

KQED - Jeremy Siegel

NCAA: Letting College Athletes Get Paid Could Make Championships 'Impossible'

California lawmakers in the Assembly Arts, Entertainment, Sports, Tourism and Internet Media Committee are expected to consider SB 206 on Tuesday. The state Senate overwhelmingly passed the bill in May.

June 21, 2019

New York Times - Andrew Das & Kevin Draper

U.S. Women’s Team and U.S. Soccer Agree to Mediation Over Gender Discrimination Claim

The United States Soccer Federation and the 28 women’s national team players suing it for gender discrimination have agreed to begin a mediation process, representatives of both sides confirmed Friday night.

June 19, 2019

LA Times - Associated Press

10-year-old Colorado girl makes history as the youngest to scale Yosemite’s famed El Capitan

Selah Schneiter of Glenwood Springs completed the challenging 3,000-foot climb last week with the help of her father and a family friend.

June 13, 2019

San Jose Mercury News - Paul Rogers

Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay hit with $1.6 million penalty for failing to provide public beach access

The coast belongs to all of us! Excellent work by the California Coastal Commission.

June 7, 2019

Washington Post - Steve Hendrix

He Always Hated Women, Then He Decided To Kill Them

Scott Paul Beierle’s attack on a Florida yoga studio was fueled by male supremacy, a movement with ties to other hate groups.

The first thing Kate Pierson did after unlocking the yoga studio that November afternoon was set the mood, plugging in the soothing waterfall, selecting a cheery lemongrass oil for the scent diffuser. The thermostat was turned up to 98 for the 5:30 class.

Hot Yoga Tallahassee was styled as a calming haven for a mostly female clientele. The men who practiced there, Pierson said, were men at ease with the “light and love” mission of the place.

But the man who walked in about 5:15 that Friday was different.

June 6, 2019

The Inertia - Dylan Heyden

San Diego Lawyer Believes Supergirl Surf Pro Should Allow Men to Compete

Currently, the WSL Qualifying Series includes 62 competitions for men compared to 42 for women.

JUNE 3, 2019

Runners World - Hailey Middlebrook

Caster Semenya Is Temporarily Cleared to Compete Without Taking Hormones

The IAAF’s testosterone rules have been suspended by a Swiss court while appeal is pending.

June 3, 2019

Sports Illustrated - Laken Litman

The USWNT's Partners, Allies and Disciples in the Fight for Equality

“We could either be a caterpillar or a butterfly,” says Meghan Klingenberg, a starting defender on the 2015 Women's World Cup team. “We could either not have very high aspirations or we could really capture that revenue and create a structure where we can protect players.”

May 30, 2019

British Journal of Photography - Sarah Roberts

Portrait of Humanity: Surfing Iran

In her winning image, Giulia Frigieri celebrates the Hijabi surfer movement in Baluchestan, Iran.

May 29, 2019

Advocate - Editorial Board

The Advocate's Champions of Pride 2019

Hawaii: Keala Kennelly

Keala Kennelly is no stranger to proving herself. The 41-year-old lesbian knew from the age of 5 she wanted to be a world champion surfer — but nobody took her seriously because she was a girl.

A professional surfer on the World Surfing Tour before she was 21, she later proved herself as a female pioneer of Big Wave Surfing. At every step, she encountered misogyny and homophobia. Over time she realized she had traded her passion and identity for a paycheck. She pulled back from surfing to focus on DJing and acting, appearing in the films Blue Crush and Beyond the Break, and as a regular on the series John From Cincinnati.

After recently returning to the surfing circuit, Kennelly has been racking up wins once again, and was honored with the 2018 World Surf League Big Wave Tour World Title.

“I needed to dream bigger because when I was 25, I was hiding in the closet, soaked in shame, living in fear — and I hated myself because I did not think you could be World Champion and gay at the same time,” Kennelly said at the 2018 World Surf League Awards Ceremony in March. “I get to be proud of who I am and I get to love myself exactly as I am, not as people would want me to be. And it is my hope that I am going to inspire other LGBT athletes that are suffering in silence to live your truth.” —DP

May 29, 2019

The Inertia - Dylan Heyden

Meet Fernando Aguerre, the Man Who Fought for 22 Years to Make Surfing an Olympic Sport

“The naysayers will say that this is gonna make surfing uncool,” Aguerre says. “And I say, absolutely incorrect. I don’t surf because it’s cool and (so) that other people see that I surf. I surf because it is a personal experience that cannot be repeated… for me, I want to spread that feeling. I think in many ways we as surfers have been isolated, selfish people.”

MAY 14, 2019

Los Angeles Times - Lance Pugmire

Heavyweight Kubrat Pulev’s suspension for kissing reporter extended with a warning

The California State Athletic Commission on Tuesday ordered former heavyweight title challenger Kubrat Pulev to undergo sexual harassment prevention training in order to lift his state-imposed suspension for kissing a female reporter following Pulev’s March victory in Costa Mesa.

“It was a fair hearing, and we’ll be at the next hearing,” Ravalo attorney Gloria Allred told The Times.

May 15, 2019

KCBS Radio - Keith Menconi

Advocate Raises Concerns Over Gender Equity in Cycling

This year’s Amgen Tour of California known as the nation’s biggest cycling road race is now under way, but KCBS Radio reporter Keith Menconi spoke with Sabrina Brennan an advocate for gender equity in sports who says it shouldn’t come back next year unless it makes a big change.

May 9, 2019

Mercury News - Elliot Almond

The Amgen Tour: fighting for equality for women cyclists — Bay Area woman who led fight for equality in surfing challenges Amgen Tour of California cycling race

In recent letters to Caltrans officials, Brennan made a pitch for the agency to withhold permits  if men and women are not treated equally. She cited the Unruh Act, which outlaws discrimination based on sex, race, color, religion, sexual orientation, citizenship and other categories for all California businesses. Brennan and women surfers made similar arguments last year, when urging the State Lands Commission and the California Coastal Commission to reject permit applications by the World Surf League to hold the Mavericks big-wave contest near Half Moon Bay.

World Surf League officials announced a few months later that they would pay competitors equally in all  their events — a move they maintained had been planned all along.

Brennan, who lives in Moss Beach, said in an interview that in response to her letters, she had been told by a Caltrans representative that the agency did not control the events it allows to use the roadways. Her reply, she said, was to ask if the agency would “permit a race with seven days for white men and three days for black men.”

Brennan said people often don’t recognize gender-based discrimination because it is socially ingrained


May 9, 2019

Jezebel - Esther Wang

The Unholy Alliance of Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminists and the Right Wing

May 7, 2019

Cycling News - Kirsten Frattini 

Push to change roadway permits could force equality at Tour of California

Kathryn Bertine has teamed up with the Committee for Equity in Women’s Surfing (CEWS) co-founder Sabrina Brennan to attempt to amend/close the loopholes in California Assembly Bill 467, which focuses on paying women and men equally in competitions on California state land. But the bill still allows the exclusion of women from competitions on state roadways and state land and is silent on equal racing days.

In the meantime, Brennan, who is also the founder of Sport Equity, has sent a letter to the Director of Caltrans asking the state agency to update its permit requirements to reflect equal access to roadways.

May 6, 2019

Outside - Andrew Lewis

For Pro Women Surfers, Equal Pay Isn't Enough

May 2, 2019

LA Times - Mackenzie Wagoner

How Kassia Meador is redefining women’s surfing

April 28, 2019

The Sunday Times Magazine - Megan Agnew

Big wave women: meet the female surfers fighting sexism on the beaches


April 14, 2019

The Atlantic - Saxon Baird

Why Female Surfers Are Finally Getting Paid Like Their Male Peers

“Obviously, we are happy with the equal pay among men and women,” Brennan explained to me. “But getting the women’s division in competitions for us was the foundation of these efforts. There are a lot of ways that people get out of paying women athletes prize money, and one is to not include women. We want to make it clear that this shouldn’t be allowed to continue.”

One such effort is a California bill requiring equal pay for any competitive event held on coastal state property that has a prize and includes more than just a male division of competitors. It would mean that even one-off surf competitions and lower level surf leagues would have to follow suit if an event is held on a state beach. Assemblymember Tasha Boerner Horvath, who introduced the bill, cited CEWS’s work as inspiration. However, the proposed bill still doesn’t require a women’s division in every competition; the CEWS is fighting to get this stipulation added. The proposed amendment has already influenced other movements to include similar requirements for competitions on any type of state land needing a lease.

The CEWS is also active outside of California in Hawaii, a hotbed for cultivating pro surfers and where some of the world’s most famous surf breaks exist. The organization has been advocating for women’s divisions in all surf competitions in the state. And while Brennan’s focus is mainly on surfing, she believes it’s possible that the league’s decision could eventually have a major impact on other U.S. sports down the road. “If we can do it right in California,” Brennan said, “then that would make the case that might pressure Hawaii and others to get their act together.”

April 4, 2019

The Coast News - Steve Puterski

State legislative bills keep Carlsbad City Council busy

Carlsbad Councilwoman Cori Schumacher disclosed she is working for State Assemblywoman Tasha Boerner Horvath (D-Encinitas) as a field representative in Vista. Schumacher said other than the Assembly Bill 467, the Gender Equity in Sport bill, also known as “Equal Pay for Equal Play” bill, she does not write legislation for or with Horvath.

California Strategies is the lobbying firm for the City of Carlsbad.

March 23, 2019

Stab Mag - Michael Ciaramella

Jack's Surfboards Pro Called Into Question For Failing To Include A Women's Division

A women's advocacy group has petitioned the city of Huntington to add a women's division to any and all surfing events. 

March 22, 2019

Orange County Register - Laylan Connelly

Should surf competition in Huntington Beach include women or not be issued a permit?

The Committee for Equality in Women’s Surfing sent a letter to city officials on Wednesday, March 20, asking that organizers for the Jack’s Surfboards Pro, a World Surf League 1,500 Qualifying Series event, add a category for women.

The letter, sent by Sabrina Brennan, a co-founder of the advocacy group, asked that the city consider adding language to surf contest permits that “prohibits gender-based discrimination,” saying the group supports the inclusion of gendered categories — a women’s division and men’s division — at all surfing competitions.

It added that the group also supports requiring equal pay and prize money in all pro surfing competitions.

Brennan said her group is thrilled the WSL has committed to equal prize money, but if the pro surfing league is going to use the tagline “Every Wave for Everyone,” they have to back it up.

“That means events they are associated with, those events need to include both genders,” she said. “We want to help encourage them to be consistent.”

Brennan said not including a women’s category goes against the California Civil Rights Act, but it’s not her organization’s intent to file a lawsuit against the city.

“Our tactic is more about getting agencies, public agencies, to comply with the Civil Rights Act,” she said. “A simple tweak to permitting could solve the whole problem — going forward there would be competitions so that both men and women, pro athletes, have an opportunity to earn prize money.”

March 21, 2018

CALmatters - Laurel Rosenhall

Women surfers push beyond equal pay—even if it means letting men into the water, too

Arguing that the bill inspired by their victory doesn’t go far enough, some of the same women who fought for equal prize money at the Mavericks surfing competition want the bill also to require that all sporting events on public land include categories for both men and women.

“Long term, that will be best for women athletes and encourage girls to stick with the sport and become pro athletes and get the money they need to do that,” said Sabrina Brennan, co-founder of the Committee for Equity in Women’s Surfing—the group that pressured state regulators first into including women at the Mavericks surf challenge, and then into requiring equal prize money.

San Francisco surfer Bianca Valenti acknowledged the camaraderie of all-female events but said requiring inclusion of both genders is the only way to give women more opportunities to compete. She pointed to an all-men’s surf competition this month in Huntington Beach.

“If you look at the number of events available to boys and men there are many more than are available to women,” she said. “If you want to preserve those women-only events you would be losing out on being able to participate in so many more.”

Brennan, a San Mateo harbor commissioner whose advocacy for women surfers has earned her national attention, now finds herself arguing that men should be included at events that have long been exclusively for women, such as a surf contest in Oceanside that launched 12 years ago to showcase women in action sports.

“You have a Civil Rights Act for a reason and it’s important that we enforce it however that works out. Sometimes it doesn’t work out to your group’s advantage and that’s just part of the deal,” she said.

“For society overall I see it as the best thing for the collective good of all.”

March 18, 2019

SURFER - Ashtyn Douglas

Why Mentorship is a Necessity in Big Wave Surfing

Paige Alms talks about the importance of showing the next generation chargers the big wave ropes.

March 13, 2019

Washington Post / The Lily - Shelby Pope

These Women Surf the Biggest Waves in the World

“Make sure you put in that those two always have the coolest pants,” a coach tells me, gesturing to the floor, where Bianca Valenti, wearing neon-colored workout pants, is joking with Miranda Maas. A champion diver, Maas is wearing striped purple yoga leggings. She tells me how dedicated Valenti is to her sport: Valenti is constantly checking to see where in the world has good surf, and she considers a day wasted if she doesn’t get a chance to hit the water.

March 8, 2019

New York Times - Sarah Mervosh and Christina Caron

8 Times Women in Sports Fought for Equality

Female surfers receive equal prize money

Four prominent female big-wave surfers, Bianca Valenti, Andrea Moller, Keala Kennelly and Paige Alms, spent years fighting for equal pay in the largely male sport where they regularly risk their lives.

Last July, the Committee for Equity in Women’s Surfing, an organization formed by six women, sent letters to the California Coastal Commission arguing that by treating women unequally, the World Surf League was in violation of state civil rights law.

Months later, in September, Valenti and other female surfers earned a victory when the World Surf League announced it would offer equal prize money to men and women.

Valenti, along with Sabrina Brennan, the president of the San Mateo County Harbor Commission, and Karen Tynan, a labor lawyer, also successfully pushed for women to be included in the Maverick’s Challenge, a big-wave surfing competition that had traditionally invited only men.

“Some people would tell me that by trying to get the (prize) pie redistributed I was ruining it for everyone,” Moller said in December. “But I would just say: ‘That’s wrong. We’re fighting for the industry. People love watching women surf big waves, so the whole sport will grow.’”

Feb 26, 2019

HuffPost - Carla Herreria

California Lawmakers Fight For Equal Pay For Athletes In Contests On State Land

The legislation would force competitions held on state-granted land or property to reward male and female competitors equally.

“This is all fantastic about equal pay, and we love to see our work codified. … But the piece that’s kind of missing from the bill is the part about equality, inclusion and equal access,” Sabrina Brennan told HuffPost.

The California commissioner co-founded the Committee for Equity in Women’s Surfing, an organization that advocates for the inclusion of all genders. They don’t support events that are exclusive to a single gender. 

Brennan said the bill was lacking language that specifically called for the inclusion of both male and female events.

“We noticed that the bill was silent on [that issue]. I just want to make it clear that we [the Committee for Equity in Women’s Surfing] are not silent on that,” Brennan said. 

“If you’re not included in the competition, you can’t get equal pay,” she added. “That’s a foundational element of being able to have equal pay. You can’t have equal pay if [the athletes are] unemployed.”

Though Brennan would like to see more legislation requiring both male and female events, she said she was encouraged to see AB 467 build off the work they did for female surfers at Mavericks.

“It just makes us feel like we don’t have to ... fight that fight again. It’s done,” she said.

Feb 14, 2019

The San Diego Union-Tribune - Tod Leonard

Assembly members promote bill requiring equal pay for athletes using state land

Since introducing the bill earlier in the week, Boerner Horvath and Gonzalez said they have received no public opposition.

“Quite frankly, people are afraid to (tick) off a bunch of women, and they should be,” Gonzalez said. “The reality is that corporations and even these sports conglomerates don’t want to upset a whole host of women who are the consumers and participants.

“I anticipate some behind-the-scenes maneuvering,” she added. “There will be questions about where this leads. Is this a broader conversation? Tasha and I would say absolutely. We’re starting with state land because it makes the most sense.”

Feb 14, 2019

San Jose Mercury News - Elliot Almond 

Women surfers inspire lawmakers to take on equal pay issue

“When we get it in writing it gives us a lot more strength,” said San Francisco’s Bianca Valenti, one of the world’s best surfers who has led the equal-pay campaign. “Once California does something the rest of the world follows.”

“When women get paid equally in every sport we are going to see the performance skyrocket,” she said Thursday.

Feb 14, 2019

The Inertia - Dylan Heyden

California to Consider a Bill Requiring Sporting Events to Pay Men and Women Equally

In a Thursday press conference overlooking Cardiff State Beach, Assemblymember Tasha Boerner Horvath was joined by San Mateo Harbor Commission president and Committee for Equity in Women's Surfing co-founding member Sabrina Brennan who detailed the fight for equality in big wave surfing. She explained that CEWS was thrilled to throw its support behind the bill.

Feb 10, 2019

Beach Grit - Jen See

Constant Risk of Death, Colorful Characters and Men Behaving Badly!

Feb 7, 2019

New York Times - Daniel Duane

The Fight for Gender Equality in One of the Most Dangerous Sports on Earth

NYT Mag Cover Photo by Dina Litovsky Feb 2019 .jpg

Feb 7, 2019

New York Times - Op-Ed by Sophie Lewis

How British Feminism Became Anti-Trans

A surprisingly mainstream movement of feminists known as TERFs oppose transgender rights as a symptom of “female erasure.”

Feb 6, 2019

Surfer - Justin Housman

Bianca Valenti Feted By Outside Magazine

The Big-Wave Star Names One of 2018’s Most Accomplished Athletes

Alongside superstar climbers Alex Honnold and Tommy Caldwell, America’s favorite runner Des Linden, and U.S. Open tennis champ Naomi Osaka, among others, the surf world’s very own Bianca Valenti was named one of 2018’s Most Accomplished Athletes by Outside Magazine earlier this winter.

Surfers don’t often get the recognition we deserve as athletes, but Valenti has done her part to grab the attention of the surf, action and mainstream sports worlds by helping to push the frontier of women’s big-wave surfing. 

She also helped ensure women would be able to compete in the Mavericks WSL event, should it ever actually be held, when she co-founded the Committee for Equity in Women's Surfing, an organization that successfully lobbied the California Coastal Commission with their argument that women take part in the event before any permit to hold a Mavericks contest be granted. Not only that, but Valenti and CEWS were able to push for an equal prize purse for the men and women, a possible influence on the WSL’s decision to award the men’s and women’s tour draws equal prize money in the future. 

Valenti has been a fixture in the big-wave scene in Northern California for the past five or so years, and has put her time in at spots like Puerto Escondido and even Jaws, in addition to Mavericks and big days at Ocean Beach. She’s a tireless advocate for women’s surfing, especially women’s big-wave surfing, and is a friendly face in often testosterone-charged heavy-water lineups. 

"The organizers had told us, 'Women aren't ready' or 'It's unsafe,' or they'd say, 'Yes, you can compete,' but then nothing would happen," Valenti told Outside. "When we started using policy to try to make a change, things finally shifted."

“I think we'll see people getting better at the sport because they have more resources to go chase swells and whatnot and I think that’s what's so exciting about this–we’re going to see better and better surfing from all the women in every division,” Valenti told us after the WSL’s decision to award equal pay to women and men. 

Exposure in mainstream publications like Outside sure doesn’t hurt.

Jan 19, 2019

Women's March San Jose - Facebook Post

Excited to hear from Sabrina Brennan from the Committee for Equity in Women's Surfing. She's making Big Waves in the pro sports world- like making sure women were included in Mavericks this year.

#surfing #payequity #titleIX #GenderEquity

Jan 19, 2019

Beach Grit - Chas Smith

Cultural Studies: “The Beaches Are Being Re-Colonized By White Males!”

Rhonda Harper of Black Girls Surf views localism as another form of colonialism.

Jan 17, 2019

The Inertia - Dylan Heyden

Peʻahi’s Queen, Paige Alms, Wants to Paddle Into the Biggest Wave Ever (and Win Mav’s)

As a founding member of the Committee for Equity in Women’s Surfing and the athlete representative on the BWT, Alms was instrumental in ushering in the era of “pay equality” across the World Surf League’s various tours.

Jan 15, 2019

Stab Mag - Gossip Girl

Big Wave Tour To The WSL: There Is Power In A Union!

Is the Big Wave Tour about to unionize?

Jan 7, 2019

Dead Spin - Dvora Meyers

The Next Step For Elite Gymnasts Is To Form A Union

“What is needed beyond reform is a countervailing force—not just a new acronym on the old priorities, but an organization that addresses the needs of athletes and only those of athletes as its sole mission.”

Jan 6, 2019

Sea Maven - Molly Lockwood

Surf Girls Jamaica: The Healing Art of Riding Waves

Jan 3, 2019

Business Insider - Emma Wills

Iceland has made it illegal to pay women less than men

Under the legislation, firms that employ more than 25 people are obliged to obtain a government certificate demonstrating pay equality, or they will face fines.

The law was announced on March 8 on International Women's Day 2017 as part of a drive by the nation to eradicate the gender pay gap by 2022.

Jan 4, 2019

Roar Media - Zahara Dawoodbhoy

Sri Lanka's First Female Surf Club Makes Waves

Dec 18, 2018

San Jose Mercury News - Elliott Almond

Giant waves are the draw for surfers and spectators at Mavericks

PRINCETON-BY-THE-SEA – Monique Kitamura, who is featured in the surfing documentary, “It Ain’t Pretty,” said it had been a decade since the buoys read 35 feet. A wave that big produces drops double that size, making for treacherous conditions for even the best.

Longtime Oahu surfer Chris Owens said, South Africa’s Twiggy Baker and San Francisco’s Bianca Valenti stood out. Valenti, one of the world’s best women big-wave surfers, had never surfed Mavericks when it was supersized. She paddled into the sea early Monday thinking about safety first. “The waves had a weird whomp in them,” Valenti said. “They were unpredictable and raw … and moving really, really fast. It was like you had to fly surf.”

Dec 17, 2018

New Yorker - William Finnegan

Kelly Slater’s Shock Wave

Don't miss this story by Pulitzer prize-winning author William Finnegan.

Dec 16, 2018

USA Today - Marco della Cava

Women surfers fight for gender pay equality in killer wave competition

For Keala Kennelly, the controversy over equal pay is as absurd as the issue is simple.

“Big wave surfing risks are the same for everyone,” she says. “It’s like female soldiers going out to war. Maybe they don’t run quite as fast as men, but they’re putting their lives on the line, and when they’re shot they’re just as dead. Would you pay women soldiers less?

Dec 16, 2018

Surfline - Marcus Sanders

How to Prep for Giant Surf

Andrea Moller: “I like to be home and make sure I’m able to take care of all the details. It helps when you can have everything in front of you — there’s so many moving parts and pieces that it helps to be able to know what you’ve got and see it all. It’s really important to have a checklist because there’s so many different things to keep straight. Fins, fin keys, boards, leashes, wetsuits, flotation vests, you have to have it all lined up. Like the cartridges for the inflation vests, you don’t want to show up somewhere and then have to find a bike shop to get more cartridges. You want to have the confidence that you have everything you need. And when you’re traveling, I feel like you need to be even more organized. It’s not like you can just run home and pick something up. A place like Maverick’s, I have to make sure I have all of the wetsuits, booties, and all that stuff. And when we’re looking at a couple swells like this, you have to think about your boards. If the contest doesn’t run on the big day, maybe you’ll want a smaller board. So you have to take all the variables into account, and then make sure you leave options for them all. I also need to know that everything’s all handled. I need to make sure my house is clean, the laundry is done, the bills are paid, I’m all good at work, my daughter is taken care. It might sound kind of weird, but if I know that everything on the home front is taken care of I feel much more free to go chase waves and surf.

Dec 15, 2018

Quartz - Jenni Avins

For the first time, female big-wave surfers will compete at Mavericks for equal prize money

In recent years, a cohort of female surfers including Bianca Valenti teamed up with Sabrina Brennan, a member of the local harbor commission, who saw an opportunity when she heard that the contest’s permit was under review by the state. The women formed a lobbying group, the Committee for Equity in Women’s Surfing (CEWS), and successfully fought for a women’s division and equal pay.

Dec 13, 2018

NCB Bay Area - Robert Handa

Mavericks Surfing Contest Targeting Next Week, With Women's Debut

This year, top women competitors will be among those taking on the massive waves, competing against each other for equal prize money.

"I don’t really see that many women doing it that often, so I think it’s awesome that the sport is growing to that population as well," surfing fan Allie Vacar said.

Fan Taylor Scornavacco added: "For women to be out here doing what the men are doing is a really cool thing, and I think that it’s good for the sport, and it’s good for the exposure of surfing in general."

San Mateo County Harbor Commissioner Sabrina Brennan helped lead the local fight to include women and equal pay.

"All of the women athletes have stuck together, and they’ve really been unified in their message," Brennan said. "They’ve worked hard to make this happen."

Dec 10, 2018

PBS - Joshua Barajas

How the fallout from Larry Nassar’s sex abuse has grown

Today, the number of women and girls who have said they were abused by Nassar has topped 500, Michigan Radio reported. But questions remain about how a culture of abuse of young athletes at USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University continued for so long.

A new report released Monday details how two top officials at the U.S. Olympic Committee, which oversees USA Gymnastics, failed to act promptly in 2015 when they first learned of the abuse allegations against Nassar. One of the officials, USOC chief of sport performance Alan Ashley, was fired shortly after the report was made public.

Dec 8, 2018

The Inertia - Zach Weisberg

Felicity Palmateer Discusses Her Controversial Nude Surfing Film Skin Deep

So the trailer for this project went live on the site the same day that KK won Jaws, Steph won her seventh title, and there was mayhem at the Jaws Challenge. I think your trailer got nearly twice the viewership as coverage of any one of those single events. How do you feel about that?

Ummm…I was watching Jaws. (Laughs.) Yeah…I don’t know. I don’t know?

Dec 7, 2018

Outside Magazine - The Editors

2018's Most Accomplished Athletes

From big-wall climbers to surf champions, these are the most dedicated, successful athletes of the year

To date, no woman has ever competed in an event at Maverick’s, the monster swell south of San Francisco, even though Sarah Gerhardt broke the gender barrier there back in 1999, just weeks before the first Maverick’s event. That’s about to change, following the persistence of Bianca Valenti and the Committee for Equity in Women’s Surfing, which she cofounded with three other pro women in 2016. That same year, the California Coastal Commission required the group behind the Maverick’s contest to include women in order to secure permitting. And CEWS then stepped in to ensure that the women’s purse matched the men’s.

“The organizers had told us, ‘Women aren’t ready’ or ‘It’s unsafe,’ or they’d say, ‘Yes, you can compete,’ but then nothing would happen,” Valenti says. “When we started using policy to try to make a change, things finally shifted.”

DEC 6, 2018

USA Today - David Strege

Surfing instructor under fire for causing female surfer to fall

Surfer Danielle Lyons was riding a 2-foot wave and clearly had the right of way when a surfing instructor dropped in behind her, grabbed her leg leash and tugged hard enough to cause Lyons to fall.

DEC 4, 2018

Washington Post - By Allyson Chiu

A female soccer player’s historic moment was spoiled by one man’s question: ‘Do you know how to twerk?’

Accepting the Ballon d’Or was supposed to be Ada Hegerberg’s moment. Instead, just minutes after she concluded a heartfelt speech in which she encouraged young girls to “please believe in yourselves,” Hegerberg was approached by French disc jockey Martin Solveig, the event’s host, who had a bizarre query.

“Do you know how to twerk?” Solveig asked in French. Clearly uncomfortable, Hegerberg shook her head and responded with a terse “no,” before appearing to attempt to leave the stage. The audience, namely French soccer player Kylian Mbappé, who was also honored, was visibly stunned.

Dec 3, 2018


Kaua'i native chosen to be first woman to compete in The Eddie

Kaua'i native Keala Kennelly is on the list of 28 surfers. She was handpicked by Clyde Aikau, brother of Eddie Aikau, who is the contest's namesake. 

"What was tremendous about her, for me to pick her, is that she got hurt at a spot called Teahupo'o. She smashed her face in and had about 50 stitches. She healed herself and went back in the water," said Aikau.

Teahupo'o is in Tahiti and is notoriously dangerous -- but Kennelly is the first woman known to have surfed it.

Nov 30, 2018

The Inertia - Juan Hernandez

Opening Ceremonies Kick Off the 2018 Eddie Aikau Invitational Waiting Period

Fresh off her win at the 2018 Jaws Challenge, Keala Kennelly made the roster of 28 competitors with fellow Big Wave Tour Competitor Paige Alms listed as her alternate.

Nov 30, 2018

Surfline - Marcus Sanders

Eddie Aikau Invitational Opening Ceremony Kicks Off At Waimea Bay

Keala Kennelly, fresh off a Jaws win, was the only female invitee. “I’m outnumbered for sure,” she said. “It’s one of the biggest honors of my entire life. I never thought I’d see this in my lifetime. I had the “Eddie Would Go” bumper sticker on my car…these guys are all my heroes.”

Nov 29, 2018

The Inertia - Kevin Whilden

Bianca Valenti Went for a Post-Apocalyptic Surf Following Northern California’s Camp Fire

Nov 26, 2018

The Inertia - Joe Carberry

Jaws Challenge Put on Hold as Swell Becomes Dangerously Large

Like watching a violent NFL match up, there was a tinge of guilt viewing these gladiators from the computer screen as they tossed themselves over the edge of sanity...

Nov 26, 2018

San Francisco Chronicle - Bruce Jenkins

Women surfers battle ‘insane’ waves in Maui

The Women's Division at Jaws was beyond gnarly.

Nov 26, 2018

Surfline - Matt Pruett

Keala Kennelly Wins, Everyone Lives at Jaws Challenge

It was Carnage, Inc. out there.

Nov 26, 2018


Top Women Show Unflinching Commitment in Menacing Jaws

It was bumpy, foggy, rainy and raw when the call was made to send out the women this morning–but the most intrepid competitors in the 2018 Women’s Jaws Challenge appeared undaunted. This would mark the third time that the top female chargers were able to surf the infamous big-wave break in an event running alongside the men’s Peahi Challenge and the first time they’ve done so since the WSL announced the men and women would be paid equal prize money at Jaws as a part of the WSL’s recent commitment to eliminating the gender pay disparity in all WSL-sanctioned events.

Perhaps that historic shift was front of mind for the top female big-wave surfers, which included two-time event winner Paige Alms, recent internet-breaking Puerto charger Bianca Valenti and heavy-water trailblazer Keala Kennelly, since the entire field was surfing like it had something to prove in the opening heats. Competitors threw caution well and truly into the wind and ended up on the receiving end of some horrific Jaw’s beatings in the process.

Nov 19, 2018

Deadspin - Bethany Biron

The Bitter Fight For Equal Pay At One Of The World's Biggest Surf Contests

“The ‘bro culture’ in surfing is very prevalent,” said San Mateo County Harbor Commissioner Sabrina Brennan, a member of the Committee for Equity in Women’s Surfing, or CEWS, a lobbying group that played an integral role in getting women to the event formerly known as Titans of Mavericks. “I can only think of a few sports that are more misogynistic than surfing. It’s cultural. It’s the way surf culture is.”

Nov 10, 2018

Still Stoked - Melanie Williams

Bianca Valenti Interview – Charging monster waves and fighting for equality in women’s surfing

Why she charges monsters, how she handles fear, and her scariest moment in the water, Badass Bianca Valenti shares it all in this exclusive interview. 

Bianca has not only participated in every big wave event currently available for women but also won her fair share of International big wave surfing events. She is also the heart and soul behind the Committee for Equity in Women's Surfing which became the driving force for the WSL to change their policies this year regarding equal pay for men and women.

Nov 9, 2018

ESPN W - Kelly O'Mara

Bianca Valenti leads the fight for equality in surfing

"Things have really started to change," Paige Alms said. "We're pushing the boundaries of the sport, and Bianca's at the forefront of that."

Nov 6, 2018

Half Moon Bay Review - Carina Woudenberg

Larenas, Reyering win in harbor

Nancy Reyering and Edmundo Larenas won by a landslide victory! We're thrilled to finally have a team of three Harbor Commissioners who care about equity, inclusion, and coastal access.

Congratulations Ed, Nancy & Sabrina!

Oct 31, 2018

Half Moon Bay Review - Carina Woudenberg

Window opens Thursday for ‘Mavs challenge’

Keala Kennelly, a Hawaiian and accomplished big-wave surfer, was among the 10 women chosen to compete in the event. She says she primarily surfs the big waves closer to home, adding that it had been a few years since she paddled out at Mavericks. 

When asked if she was excited about having the opportunity to compete this year, she was enthusiastic.

“Oh, gosh, yes,” she said. “We’ve been fighting for this for years. I really hope we get a swell this year and it comes together.”

Oct 29, 2018

Mercury News - Elliott Almond

Are the stars finally aligned for a Mavericks surf contest?

World Surf League made a wide-sweeping decision to offer equal prize money for all of its competitions after the Mavericks women’s campaign.

“The future for younger girls is to grow up feeling they are equal from the start,” said Jamilah Star of Santa Cruz, a pioneer big-wave surfer. “Not being programmed or trained to be less than boys. Or watch the boys.

“It’s time for the boys to watch us.”

Oct 27, 2018

Santa Cruz Sentinel - Julie Jag

Mavericks women take their place in opening ceremony

If the Mavericks Challenge gets a green light during its Nov. 1 to March 31 window, it will mark the first time a women’s contest has been held at the infamous break located near Half Moon Bay’s Pillar Point Harbor.

“It’s nice being invited to the party,” Keala Kennelly said. “You can always go to the party or crash the party, but it’s way more nice to be invited to the party.”

Tyler Fox of Aptos, who this year is the first alternate in the men’s contest, said the women brought the party.

“There is a different vibe,” he said. “There is an exciting new energy with the women.”

OCT 26, 2018

San Francisco Chronicle - Bruce Jenkins

Opening ceremony heralds coming of Mavericks surf contest

The 10 invited women, some of whom have limited experience at Mavericks, there was a morning session led by water-safety mainstays Brian Keaulana (Hawaii) and Frank Quirarte (Pacifica) on Jet Skis.

Hawaii’s Emi Erickson has surfed the place several times, and “thankfully, I haven’t been up close and personal with the rocks,” she said. “But we learned about the best ways to get out of there when the surf is huge. It’s good to be proactive about prevention.”

Oct 26, 2018

Mavericks Challenge Opening Ceremony - WSL

WHAT: Mavericks Challenge Opening Ceremony
WHEN: October 26 @ 2 PM
WHERE: Mavericks Beach & Lagoon, Princeton by the Sea, California
WHO: All invited BWT male & female competitors, media & general public
WHY: Launch big wave season with a spiritual gathering of the best in the world at Mavericks, bring the community together after years of politics, create content and media opportunities for WSL and surfers. Program would consist of a lineup of competitors with their boards on Mavericks Beach, some speeches and potential blessing along with the traditional paddle out circle in the lagoon.

ETC: Low-key event to avoid permitting dramas. No PA system, no branding, etc. Should be a very soulful and organic event.

Lineup and Introduction of surfers (MC - from Broadcast Team)
Comments by local government dignitaries: Don Horsley - County Supervisor [MIA]
Words from Commissioner, Mike Parsons
Blessing of the competitors by Jeff Clark [Lame!]
Traditional Paddle out circle in water

Oct 23, 2018

San Francisco Chronicle - Bruce Jenkins

Ocean Beach event highlights pay equality for female, male surfers

The coming months have historic potential for women’s surfing. A major obstacle has been cleared, and there’s a sense of freedom that hasn’t existed before.

Such is the everlasting shine of equality.

Oct 19, 2018

Santa Cruz Sentinel - Julie Jag

Mavericks Challenge surf contest clears final major hurdle

Sabrina Brennan was standing before the California State Lands Commission in a nondescript conference room, giving a report she’d given multiple times, when she felt her eyes welling up with tears. Usually not at a loss for words, she had to pause a moment to collect herself.

“I wasn’t sure if I felt like the weight was lifted or what,” said Brennan, a co-founder of the Committee for Equity in Women’s Surfing. “It was just a relief.”

Upon the land commission’s approval of the WSL’s permit, chairwoman Betty T. Yee said, “All I keep thinking is, ‘Title IX was 45 years ago, and here we are.'”

Yee added, “This is a defining moment, for sure.”

Oct 20, 2018

San Diego Union-Tribune - Pam Kragen

At 25, Challenged Athletes still changing lives

Dani Burt thought her life was over when, at 19, she lost most of her right leg in a motorcycle accident on Palomar Mountain. Then she heard about the Challenged Athletes Foundation, which has raised $100 million over the past 25 years for adaptive sports grants for disabled athletes. Today, with CAF's help, she's the reigning women's world champion adaptive surfer.

Oct 12, 2018

Half Moon Bay Review - Carina Woudenberg

Coastal Commission grants WSL permit for Mavericks

Among those who spoke were Carlsbad City Councilwoman Cori Shumacher, a professional surfer whose mother also surfed professionally.

“(This) is no less than a revolution,” Schumacher said, noting the inequality felt among women surfers for decades. “It’s a fulfillment of a commitment my mother and I took several years ago.”

The committee’s co-founder Sabrina Brennan, who also serves on the San Mateo County Harbor Commission, said she hoped that the morning’s win could set a precedent.

Oct 12, 2018

California Coastal Commission Agenda

CEWS attended the California Coastal Commission (CCC) hearing in San Diego on Friday, Oct 12, 2018 regarding Item 8. The CCC unanimously approved the Mavericks permit with conditions that require a three heat women's division and equal pay!

Here's a quote from CCC the staff report:

Women’s Competition in Future Events. If the Permittee (or any other entity) intends to apply for future CDPs for a surf contest at Mavericks, the Permittee (or any other entity) shall submit a detailed plan for the continued inclusion of female competitors as part of the CDP application, where the objective of the plan shall be to provide for a women’s competition that is as comparable to the men’s competition as possible, including in terms of competitor numbers, competition structure, and prizes. CDP applications will not be accepted and filed for processing without such plan.

Oct 9, 2018

The Inertia - Alexander Haro

The WSL Hired the Oprah Winfrey Network President to Help Make Surfing the Next NFL

Here’s a hard truth if you’re a core surfer (whatever that means). Brass tacks: the WSL is not meant for you. The WSL is not meant for a person who doesn’t want surfing to grow. The WSL’s main objective is growth. The WSL wants surfing in the Olympics, surfing on the television, and surfing in wave pools. The WSL wants the WSL to be the next NFL, the next MLB, the next NBA. This is not a secret, and they are hiring the people who can make it happen.

Oct 4, 2018

ESPN - Alyssa Roenigk

Equal ocean, equal waves, equal pay

"I was prepared for the WSL to pull out of Mavericks completely [for 2018]. I think everybody was expecting that," she said. "So I was shocked when they announced equal pay across the board. It's going to boost the women and be so great for future generations. It legitimizes women's surfing. I think the big-wave women were instrumental in making that happen."

Valenti says she believes the big-wave surfers were also best suited to take on this fight -- and not only because they participate in a sport defined by a willingness to explore the outer limits of possibility. "As a group, we don't make much money. Most of the men and women on our tour work two, three, four jobs to support our surfing," she said. "In a sense, we had nothing to lose."

"We feel strongly that if it hadn't been for our consistent advocacy, the WSL would not have made that announcement," said Sabrina Brennan, a San Mateo County Harbor Commissioner and co-founder of the Committee for Equity in Women's Surfing (CEWS), an advocacy group that includes big-wave surfers Paige Alms, Keala Kennelly, Andrea Moller and Bianca Valenti, as well as Karen Tynan, an attorney who represents the women pro bono. "But we are so glad they did, and we're thankful because they could have done less and announced equal pay only at Mavericks. But they did the right thing and did it across all of their events."

Oct 2, 2018


Maya Gabeira Sets Guinness World Record, Wins XXL Award for Nazare Bomb

Maya Gabeira won the inaugural Women’s XXL Biggest Wave Award, while setting a new Guinness World Record for the “largest wave surfed unlimited (female).” The wave, a tow-in (which we gather is where the “unlimited” come from) at Nazaré on January 18th, 2018, was determined to be 68 feet (20.72 meters) from trough to crest, as the Brazilian was honored at a special ceremony at the iconic lighthouse that overlooks the lineup at Praia do Norte, where an official Guinness World Records adjudicator presented Gabeira with a certificate declaring her as the current record holder.

The upcoming 2019 Big Wave Awards will be held in April, and will feature two new categories: Women’s XXL Biggest Wave Award (PWC-assistance permitted) and the Women’s Biggest Paddle Award (no assistance).

“To set the world record has been a dream of mine for many years,” said Gabeira. “But of course, after the accident in 2013, it felt like a very distant dream. It took a lot of work to have a season like last year, to be 100% again, and to complete it with a Guinness World Records title is quite special.”

OCT 1, 2018

Mercury News - Elliott Almond

Martins Beach: U.S. Supreme Court denies appeal of billionaire Vinod Khosla

“The most conservative and divided Supreme Court in my lifetime confirmed that even a billionaire, who refuses to acknowledge that the law applies to him, and retains the most expensive attorneys he can find, cannot create a private beach,” said attorney Joe Cotchett of Burlingame, who represents the Surfrider Foundation, a non-profit group that has won lower cases forcing Khosla to keep the beach open.

“Beaches are public in California, and the immensely wealthy must comply with the Coastal Act just like everyone else.”

Sept 22, 2018

Washington Post - By Jessica Contrera, Ian Shapira, Emma Brown, Steve Hendrix

Kavanaugh accuser Christine Blasey Ford moved 3,000 miles to reinvent her life. It wasn’t far enough

We believe you Dr. Ford. #MeToo

After high school, and after the alleged assault, Ford left the Washington area and never moved back. She took up surfing. She dressed in jeans when she wasn’t in a wet suit atop a surfboard. Colleagues mistook her for a native Californian. Quietly, she garnered a reputation for her research on depression, anxiety and resilience after trauma — telling almost no one what she herself had endured.

Sept 20, 2018

CNN - Ralph Ellis and Sarah Moon

California bans plastic straws in full-service restaurants -- unless customers request one

California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill Thursday that bans full-service restaurants in the state from handing out single-use plastic straws to customers -- unless they ask for one.

Sept 18, 2018


The Biggest Wave Ever Paddled Into By A Woman At Puerto EscondidoOct

Sept 17, 2018

The Inertia - Shannon Reporting

Watch Bianca Valenti Scrape Into This Giant Puerto Escondido Bomb

Bianca Valenti is a Superwoman.

Sept 13, 2018

Outside Magizine - Kim Cross

Equal Prize Money Is Great—But Only Half the Story

“Every time I drive by one of those ginormous sports stadiums, I’ve always thought about how much public funding goes into them,” Brennan says. “So now we’re looking at what can this do for other sports?”

Sept 12, 2018

The Inertia -  Dylan Heyden

Did Maverick’s Force the WSL to Pony Up an Estimated $1.4 Million for Pay Equality?

CEWS wrote in a July 9 letter to Renee Ananda of the California Coastal Commission insisting that attempts to pay women anything less than equal prize money at big wave surf contests constituted “gender-based discrimination,” and was therefore against the law. The letter implored the Commission to make equal pay a stipulation for event permitting at Maverick’s.

According to Sabrina Brennan, San Mateo County Harbor Commissioner and CEWS member, it was this letter and the fallout from it that led the WSL to schedule a July 23rd meeting in Redwood City. During the meeting between representatives from CEWS including Brennan, Karen Tynan (CEWS’ attorney), Bianca Valenti, and Paige Alms, and WSL CEO Sophie Goldschmidt, Graham Stapelberg, WSL attorney Dylan Budd, WSL Deputy Commissioner and Director of Athlete Development Jessi Miley-Dyer, BWT commissioner Mike Parsons, and others, executives of the World Surf League were emphatic that prize parity would not be feasible at Maverick’s this year.

“When we got to the hardest part of the discussion, which was about equal pay, they just completely shut down,” Brennan said in a phone interview. “They said things like, ‘We don’t negotiate with outside groups.’ And, ‘If we did this at Maverick’s then there’d be the expectation that we’d do it across all categories.’ And we were like, ‘That’s exactly what we want…’ Then they were like, ‘Absolutely not. There’s no money.'

Sept 10, 2018

KPIX5 - by Katie Nielsen

Female Big-Wave Surfers Celebrate Prize Money Equity Plan

Sept 7, 2018

KTVU - by Cristina Rendon

Women granted equity in surf competition prizes, including Mavericks

Sept 6, 2018

CAL Matters - by Laurel Rosenhall

California just forced equal pay for female surfers. Could that change other games?

“We believe there ought to be gender equity with respect to the purposes of any use of our state lands,” Betty Yee said in an interview.

Gavin Newsom also supported the requirement, said his chief of staff Rhys Williams: “A lease application that doesn’t reflect equal pay isn’t going to fly with him.”

The Mavericks case could set a precedent for local governments to demand equal pay in any sporting event held on public property, said David Berri, a professor of economics at Southern Utah University who researches gender in sports.

“In any event where you are going across public land, then any government entity could say ‘You have to make this equal,’” he said.

Sept 6, 2018

San Francisco Chronicle - by Bruce Jenkins

Finally, World Surf League offers equal prize money for women and men

Bianca Valenti said she was “in shock” when she heard the news, because women surfers had been so thoroughly stonewalled in their quest for equality. 

The CEWS is spearheaded by Valenti and Hawaiian surfers Keala Kennelly, Paige Alms and Andrea Moller, all of whom are expected to be in the Mavericks contest. The event’s previous owners, Cartel Management, balked at the notion of including women until finally agreeing last year to a six-woman heat that would accompany the men’s competition (poor conditions prevented the contest from being held). But Cartel arrogantly excluded Valenti from the entry list, and “I’ll never forget how my heart sank when Cartel retaliated against Bianca because she dared to speak at a Coastal Commission hearing,” said Sabrina Brennan, a San Mateo County Harbor District commissioner who has worked tirelessly for the cause. “Now we finally have what’s right. Those four women worked so hard and they weren’t backing down. They took the professional risk.”

sept 5, 2018

NBC Bay Area - Robert Handa

Pro Surfing League to Pay Women Competitors the Same as Men

San Mateo County Harbor Commissioner Sabrina Brennan, a fierce longtime advocate for equal pay for women surfers, said, “Bianca (Valenti), Paige (Alms), Keala (Kennelly) and Andrea (Moller) deserve credit for transforming and revolutionizing professional surfing. They took a risk supporting equal prize money. I’ll never forget how my heart sank when Cartel (Mavericks former organizer) retaliated against Bianca and demoted her to alternate because she dared to speak in support of including women in the Mavericks competition.”

“I’m glad the WSL is choosing to be on the right side of history,” said Bianca, adding, “Power to the people!”

Aug 30, 2018

Surfline - Marcus Sanders

Mavericks Challenge Faces Permitting Issues (Again)

“Not getting your permits in order, we’ve seen it before,” said Sabrina Brennan, a San Mateo County Harbor District commissioner. “That’s a recipe for not being able to hold the competition.”

Aug 29, 2018

STAB - Rory Parker

On The Path To Equality, Is The WSL Pitting Men and Women Against Each Other?

"I think [the WSL] has a tremendous opportunity to revolutionize the sport and it could have global implications."

—Sabrina Brennan, San Mateo County Harbor Commissioner

Aug 27, 2018

SURFER - Justin Housman

Mavericks Event May Demand Equal Pay For Women 

A group called The Committee for Equity in Women's Surfing, composed of some of the most well-known names in the big-wave surfing community, earlier this summer called on the California Coastal Commission to demand equal pay for women athletes before they granted any permits for the event. The State Lands Commission obviously heard that plea.

Aug 25, 2018

Soccer America - Paul Kennedy 

Hope Solo sues U.S. Soccer in Federal court over pay gap

Former U.S. women's national team goalkeeper Hope Solo has sued U.S. Soccer again, filing a complaint Friday for violation of the Equal Pay Act and discrimination in U.S. district court in Northern California.

Aug 24, 2018

Mercury News - Elliott Almond

Equal pay or no one plays? Big-wave women draw line in the sand at Mavericks

The State Lands Commission staff report attached to the agenda item supported the women’s cause, concluding “the waves do not discriminate.”

It continued saying that the commission staff “believes it is in the best interests of the state to require the event to implement certain measures to promote equity by requiring that the amount of compensation awarded to any participants does not depend on gender.”

The staff report cited the Public Trust Doctrine as the foundation for its conclusion, saying it requires the state to protect and manage its tide and submerged lands for the benefit of all Californians.

The government staffers rejected the World Surf League’s formula for pay equity that is based on the number of overall participants — 24 men and 10 women.

“Male athletes are surfing and competing on the same waves as the female athletes,” the report said. “So other than the participation evaluation process which is controlled solely by the Applicant, there doesn’t appear to be any reasonable justification to treat prize compensation differently for female athletes versus male athletes.”

The report asked the commissioners — State Controller Betty T. Yee, Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom and state finance director Michael Cohen — to include specific language in the lease that would ensure equitable treatment of the women surfers.

Bianca Valenti, the Bay Area’s leading female big-wave rider, praised the report in a text from Croatia.

“Lawmakers get it; they know that responsible use of our coastline and coastal access is a top priority for all Californians,” she wrote. “As a professional big-wave surfer I believe this recognition will help leverage progress towards achieving equality. When we share the ocean everyone has an opportunity to explore surfing, improve their performance, and earn equal pay in the water.”

Aug 3, 2018

Mercury News - Elliott Almond

Equal pay in big-wave waters: Mavericks women fight for same prize purse

This story ran in the Mercury News on Sat and the Santa Cruz Sentinel on Sun.

“Prize money equality is required. Prize money parity by ‘fuzzy math’ is not going to work for the women athletes.” —Karen Fuller Tynan, attorney representing the Committee for Equity in Women's Surfing

Aug 3, 1018

The Inertia -  Dylan Heyden

Committee for Equity in Women’s Surfing Alleges Gender Discrimination in Letter to California Coastal Commission

In a July 9 letter obtained by The Inertia, the Committee for Equity in Women’s Surfing (CEWS), comprised of big wave surfers including Bianca Valenti, Keala Kennelly, and Paige Alms, explains that the existing formula the WSL uses to achieve what’s called purse parity is actually discriminatory. “Last month, the Puerto Escondido Cup first place winner, Bianca Valenti earned $1,750 while her counterpart in the men’s division took home $7,000,” the letter reads. “We’ve done the math. Valenti earned 75 percent less than her male counterpart surfing the same wave.”

Aug 3, 1018

The Inertia -  Alexander Haro

Maya Gabeira Accuses World Surf League of Ignoring Requests to Help Her Get In the Guinness Book of World Records

June 28, 2018

Sea Maven - Teddy Kahn

The Fundamental Flaw in the WSL's Equal Pay Policy

June 26, 2018

San Francisco Chronicle - Bruce Jenkins

San Francisco’s Bianca Valenti brings home title in big surf

“This is the best event that’s ever happened for women…Even better than the two events we had at Pe’ahi” Hawaii in 2016 and ’17. The women really stepped it up. The surfing level was so good, we didn’t have to change the criteria; we judged them equally as the men. The winner (Valenti) surfed well enough to have gotten through a men’s heat. This is a huge step in the right direction.”

—Gary Linden, WSL Big Wave Tour Organizer

“The risks are the same so why aren’t the prizes the same?  I think we deserve it.”

—Emily Erickson, Professional Surfer

“All the athletes, male and female crushed it and put on a great show. It was rad! The entire town was stoked, the men, the women, the boys, the girls, everyone!We’re all in this together. Women-up!”

—Bianca Valenti, Professional Surfer

“The chicks showed up and blowed up. So how about that equal pay?”

—Keala Kennelly, Professional Surfer

JUNE 26, 2018

SURFER - Ashtyn Douglas

Valenti Wins First-Ever Women's Big-Wave Contest on Latin America

JUNE 26, 2018

Surfline - Staff

Did We Just See The Heaviest Woman's Heat Ever?

Zicatela devotee Bianca Valenti found a bulbous righthand barrel for a double-9.0 before the Mexican Cinderella story, Isabelle Leonhardt, pig-dogged a colossal right for a double-9.5 — but her backup couldn’t hang, so Bianca won.

June 26, 2018

Surfer Today - Staff

Bianca Valenti claims the 2018 Puerto Escondido Cup

"I was in this mindset of like: 'I'm using so much energy.' And then I went: 'This is so fun. I love this; I live for this.' We're all in this together. Women up!" added the event winner.

"I was so freaking excited. Not having a hundred guys out, and taking any wave I want, I was like frothing. I am proud of all the girls. They were charging," said Keala Kennelly, who finished third.

Although not considered and listed as a specialty event by the World Surf League (WSL), the pro surfing organization supported the contest.

June 26, 2018

Sea Maven - Molly Lockwood

It's Not the Market, It's You

JUNE 5, 2018

Sea Maven - Molly Lockwood

5 Women Who Gave Zero F*cks

March 2018 

Stab Magizine

Is Women's Big Wave Surfing Stuck In The 1960's?

Jan 10, 2018

NPR Hear & Now - Robin Young

'We're Starting To See The Tides Change': Women To Compete In Mavericks Surf Contest For First Time

Jan 3, 2018

NBC Bay Area - Staff 

Mavericks Challenge Competition Window Officially Opens

Dec 15, 2017

San Mateo Daily Journal - Samantha Weigel

Mavericks contest gets 56 days

Similar to what was required of Cartel’s Titans of Mavericks, the Coastal Commission ordered the WSL include women surfers in a special heat for the first time at the local big wave break.

Hawaii’s Paige Alms, who was WSL’s 2016 Women’s Big Wave champion, is one of the chosen six who could compete at Mavericks in the coming weeks.

“Having the addition of the Mavericks event on the Big Wave Tour is a huge thing for the men and women,” Alms said in a press release. “Mavericks is a really perfect wave and one of the most powerful big waves in the world. With the inclusion of Mavericks as a part of the tour, I think fans will be seeing some of the best big waves ridden, hopefully the conditions are just all-time. We will see some of the best waves ridden there and also some of the most heavy wipeouts, people really like to push themselves over the ledge there.”

The six women chosen include Alms, Keala Kennelly, Justine Dupont, Bianca Valenti, Sarah Gerhardt and Emily Erickson. While pleased to finally have a chance to surf during a Mavericks competition, some of the women are urging an expansion in future years.

The Committee for Equity in Women’s Surfing, CEWS, sent a letter to the Coastal Commission supporting the WSL receiving a single-year permit. Alms, Kennelly, Valenti, Andrea Moller as well as Harbor Commissioner Sabrina Brennan, are advocating for future competitions that include multiple heats for female surfers.

“We look forward to an event managed by people who support the evolution of women’s big wave surfing. We look forward to developing a strong relationship with the WSL that brings greater equity to the sport,” the CEWS wrote in a letter. “Starting in the 2018/2019 season, we believe that women athletes should be provided with an opportunity to compete in a multi-heat women’s division at Mavericks. It will be good for women, for the [Mavericks’] legacy, and it will ensure fair and equal access to coastal waters.”

Dec 15, 2017

Artwork by Dr. Mary Larenas of Moss Beach, CA


Dec 14, 2017

Santa Cruz Sentinel - Julie Jag

Mavericks surf contest opens Jan. 3 under new owners

For the first time, women will get to compete at Maverick’s. The Mavericks Challenge will consist of one six-woman heat and include Santa Cruz big wave pioneer Sarah Gerhardt. Jamilah Star of Santa Cruz is an alternate.

“This will be a fantastic moment for women’s big wave surfing,” Mike Parsons, the commissioner of the WSL’s Big Wave Tour, said in a statement. “The best female big wave surfers will get to showcase their skills on the heaviest wave on the West Coast.”

Dec 14, 2017

Mercury News - Elliott Almond

Big-wave surf contest — now the Mavericks Challenge — will return to Half Moon Bay

This year’s contest will include a one-heat women’s competition for the first time. But Sabrina Brennan of the San Mateo Harbor District commission asked the Coastal Commission not issue a Coastal Development permit beyond this season unless World Surf League officials include a multi-heat women’s division.

“Going forward it is my hope that all Harbor District special use permits and event permits will prioritize gender equity as an enforceable requirement,” Brennan wrote in a letter to the commissioners this week.

Dec 14, 2017

The Inertia - Juan Hernandez  

WSL Gets CA Coastal Commission Approval to Run Maverick’s Challenge, Including 6-Person Women’s Contest

“The darkness,” Keala Kennelly told The Inertia when asked what makes Maverick’s so unique when compared to other notable big waves, “…when you wipe out at Maverick’s and get pushed deep underwater it’s black like midnight and absolutely terrifying. I’d never experienced anything like that.”

Alms and Kennelly will be joined by Justine Dupont, Bianca Valenti, Sarah Gerhardt, and Emi Erickson, with Jamilah Star, Andrea Moller, and Wrenna Delgado listed as event alternates. Dupont, Valenti, and Moller were also competitors in October’s Pe’ahi Challenge.

Dec 14, 2017

San Francisco Chronicle - Bruce Jenkins

Mavericks surf contest gets the go-ahead

The most significant development in the ownership change will be the inclusion of women. For the first time in contest history, a six-woman heat will be staged on contest day, featuring Bianca Valenti of San Francisco, Sarah Gerhardt of Santa Cruz, Justine Dupont of France and Hawaii’s Paige Alms, Keala Kennelly and Emily Erickson.

This comes as good news to Sabrina Brennan, a San Mateo County Harbor Commissioner who has lobbied tirelessly on behalf of the women surfers and charged the Cartel group with “sexist, discriminatory behavior” in restricting the event to men. The next step, Brennan said, will be to “make a multiheat women’s division a requirement for the 2018-19 event and the future.”

Dec 13, 2017

On December 13, 2017, Karen Fuller Tynan represented the Committee for Equity in Women's Surfing at the Coastal Commission hearing held at the Ocean Institue near Dana Point Harbor.

Coastal Commission hearing video.

Thank you Karen.png

Dec 13, 2017

Half Moon Bay Review - Carina Woudenberg

Coastal Commission grants surf league permit

Attorney Karen Fuller Tynan spoke at Wednesday’s meeting on behalf of the Committee for Equity in Women’s Surfing.

Tynan stated that she was relieved that the Commission only went forward with a one-year permit at the November 2016 meeting.

“Otherwise the permit would have ended up in bankruptcy court,” Tynan said.

Nov 9, 2017

The Atlantic - Design Chris Edser, Animation //kneeon, Producer Kristina Sorge and Nicolas Pollock

'Revolutionary' Big Wave Surfing

Professional surfer Bianca Valenti reveals how women big wave surfers are changing the tides. 

Nov 2, 2017

Great Big Story

Making Her Own Waves: The Woman Revolutionizing Big Wave Surfing

Bianca Valenti is a San Francisco-based professional surfer who rides some of the world's biggest waves. Instead of wearing a string bikini on a white sand beach, she dons a wetsuit, a hood and protective gear to take on some of the world’s deadliest swells. When she first took on Mavericks—notoriously difficult surf just south of San Francisco—she almost drowned. But that experience, coupled with her drive to overcome sexist stereotypes about female surfers, only motivated Valenti to become a better surfer. The results, as you can see, have paid off.

Nov 1, 2017

Surfer -  Ashtyn Douglas

PAIGE ALMS: ‘IT’S A PRETTY INTERESTING TIME IN OUR SPORT’ — The 2017 Women's Pe'ahi Challenge Winner on Her Jaws Victory And The Future Of Women's Big-Wave Surfing

It's a pretty interesting time in our sport. We went from having absolutely no events and having to fight to be at the Maverick’s event to the WSL last year asking us to be a part of it. Now we have four events this year [2 WSL sanctioned events, plus an event at Waimea and another at Nelscott Reef], and that growth is pretty monumental. We were out at dinner last night and Sachi [Cunningham, big-wave photographer] said to me, “Isn't it going to be cool when we look back in a few years and we'll say, ‘Remember when there were only 6 girls invited to the Jaws contest?’"

When you win something here, you feel like you win it for everyone else on the island, since it’s such a small island and a small surf community.

Oct 28, 2017

Surfer -  by Surfer

Ian Walsh and Paige Alms Win The Pe'ahi Challenge: The Valley Isle Dominates as Walsh Takes His First Title, Alms Takes Her Second

Oct 28, 2017

Grind TV - Gabriela Aoun

Paige Alms wins 2017-18 Women’s Big Wave Tour Pe’ahi Challenge

Finals Results:

Paige Alms 21.23
Keala Kennelly 17.21
Justine Dupont 14.36
Bianca Valenti 10.86
Andrea Moller 6.41
Felicity Palmateer 4.54

Oct 26, 2017

WSL Press Release - Anna Dimond 

Women of Big Wave Set to Tackle Pe'ahi for Second Time

Surfline— The Pe’ahi Challenge has been green lit to run from Friday through Saturday, with peak wave heights potentially hitting the 40 to 50-foot range, courtesy of a storm brewing in the Pacific’s northwest corner. As of now, the apex of the swell is projected to unload upon Jaws on Friday afternoon, and continue into Saturday morning.

Oct 11, 2017

Mercury News - Elliott Almond

Mavericks surf contest a go for this season — if waves cooperate: World Surf League officials announce that women will compete at Half Moon Bay event for first time

“You have to be really patience in the water and out of the water with these events,” said big-wave star Bianca Valenti of San Francisco.

Four contests — counting ones in Oregon, in northern Spain and Hawaii that are not part of the Big Wave Tour — are holding competitions for women this season.

“It’s the first year that we have somewhat a full season,” Valenti said. “We’re going to see an explosion of talent on the women’s side.”

Women were hoping to make their debut this year before the previous organizer Griffin Guess of Titans of Mavericks and Cartel Management canceled the event because of financial issues.

Oct 11, 2017

San Mateo Daily Journal - Austin Walsh

Mavericks deal sets stage for surf show—World Surf League gets county Harbor District permit, plans winter competition

This marks the latest in a series of operational transitions drawing the praise of those who’ve long advocated for more equal participation opportunities.

“It’s about damn time,” said Sabrina Brennan, a member of the San Mateo County Harbor District Board of Commissioners and staunch supporter of women’s surfing.

Oct 10, 2017

The Daily Telegraph - Amanda Lulham

Women will compete in Big Wave tour event at Mavericks alongside men

“Anything that gives women in surfing more opportunity is great,’’ said Felicity Palmateer, who holds the Australian women’s record for riding a 25 foot wave at Cow Bombie in Western Australia,

“This is so good, really exciting and has been a long time coming, This is just epic. For women to be surfing at Mavericks is incredible.’’

Oct 10, 2017

Surfer - Matthew B. Shaw

Mavericks Officially Added To WSL Tour

Oct 9, 2017

Santa Cruz Sentinel - Julie Jag

Mavericks officially joins World Surf League’s Big Wave Tour

The women’s purse is $30,000 — an average of $5,000 per contestant — while the men’s purse will be $100,000, an average of $4,166 per surfer. About half the contestants will be those who have qualified to compete on the Big Wave Tour. The rest will be selected by a committee of Half Moon Bay and Santa Cruz locals helmed by Big Wave Tour Commissioner Mike Parsons.

Oct 9, 2017

Grind TV - Ryan Brower 

WSL adds Mavericks big-wave surf contest to Big Wave Tour schedule

Oct 9, 2017

WSL Press Release

It's Official: Mavericks Will Join 2017/2018 Big Wave Tour

"We're very pleased with this opportunity to work with the big wave community in bringing the Mavericks event to life on the international stage," Sophie Goldschmidt, WSL CEO, said. "The League has always held a high amount of respect for the both venue and its community as one of the pillars of big wave surfing. The WSL intends to continue to run the Mavericks event and celebrate the stories of those who steward and surf it through the Big Wave Tour. This is a huge moment for both the organization and the sport of surfing."

Both men and women big wave surfers will have the opportunity to compete this upcoming season at Mavericks.

Sept 21, 2017

Santa Cruz Sentinel - Julie Jag

Mavericks surf contest permit sale to WSL further clouded by harbor commission

Sabrina Brennan, one of the commissioners who has been the most outspoken about the permitting process, said she hopes the WSL will move forward with its plans.

“I support the event happening this season and I think it’s great that there’s an organization with experience that’s stepped forward that wants to put on an event so athletes can compete,” she said at the meeting. “I support that whole-heartedly, but I still don’t support this permit, which I feel was poorly written. ... So, I can’t vote to support a permit I never supported. I can’t do that. I feel that a multi-season permit is big mistake.”

Sept 20, 2017

Sept. 20, 2017 Harbor Commission meeting video

Agenda Item 5: 
Cartel Managment Sale of Assets to World Surf League

“We actually drank Cartel's Kool-Aid, we were fighting for them...” -Jeff Clark

Sept 19, 2017

San Mateo Daily Journal - Samantha Weigel

Judge approves Mavericks sale—Harbor District to consider supporting World Surf League

Harbor Commissioner Sabrina Brennan, who has advocated for women to be included in the contest, said she’s thrilled WSL is on track to host a surf competition.

“It’s been a long time coming and I think a change in management is long overdue,” Brennan said. “From everything I’ve heard, the WSL is completely committed to running an event and last I checked they were on course for lining up permits.”

Brennan said she just wants to see female athletes compete as the contest window nears opening.

“I hope everyone will be supportive and try to do everything in their power to make it a successful event,” Brennan said. “We’re just really thrilled that it looks like it’s around the corner.”

Sept 15, 2017

Santa Cruz Sentinel - Julie Jag

Titans of Mavericks sale to World Surf League approved by bankruptcy judge

Sept 15, 2017

NBC Bay Area - Robert Handa

Mavericks May Not Be Wiped Out After All

Harbor Commissioner Sabrina Brennan acknowledged more legal hurdles lie ahead but considered the possibility of WSL running the contest a huge step forward.

She pointed out the WSL is led by a woman CEO and, unlike Mavericks, allows female competitors.

"I'm relieved the Cartel bankruptcy is behind us," Brennan said, "it will be exhilarating and satisfying to see women athletes compete for the first time in the Mavericks big wave competition."

Sept 7, 2017

Monterey Herald - Julie Jag

Mavericks sale to World Surf League hits a snag

Sept 6, 2017

NBC Bay Area - Robert Handa

Deal to Sell Mavericks Surf Contest at a Stalemate

According to court papers filed Wednesday, Segler Holdings LLC, a Texas company, objected to the sale, saying it is not in the best interest of the bankruptcy estate.

The new legal twist will not only complicate ownership of the contest but also will resurrect a hotly disputed issue when the harbor district issued a 5-year permit to Cartel instead of a standard one-year deal, which some board members, including Commissioner Sabrina Brennan, said caused the legal turmoil.

Aug 29, 2017

The Inertia - Op-Ed by Keala Kennelly, Professional Surfer

Keala Kennelly’s Thank You Letter for the ‘F*ck You Billabong…’ Hysteria

Aug 25, 2017

San Mateo Daily Journal - Samantha Weigel

World Surf League strikes Mavericks deal

Harbor District Commissioner Sabrina Brennan, who’s advocated on behalf of the Committee for Equity in Women’s Surfing, said she’s pleased the WSL may bolster their efforts.

“I support women being included in the event and clearly the WSL has a proven track record of including women in the Big Wave World Tour,” Brennan said. “I hope that everyone on the [Harbor District] board is supportive of what’s in the best interest of the athletes, the fans and San Mateo County.”

Aug 24, 2017

Mercury News - Elliot Almond

Mavericks surf contest sold; will there be an event this winter? 

Some welcomed the Big Wave Tour’s takeover that will give the surfers a platform to showcase their talent. The contest would be particularly meaningful for six women invitees competing at the fearsome wave for the first time. Women were included last year before Cartel canceled the tournament because of financial struggles.

“The WSL has a track record of inclusion of women so it makes me feel good,” Harbor commissioner Sabrina Brennan said. “It’s a start.”

News of the sale was bittersweet for Jeff Clark, who remains frustrated over losing control of his event to Cartel. But the famed surfer is “stoked it’s the WSL,” he said Thursday.

“It’s going to be a good event,” added Clark, who hopes to be involved with WSL organizers. “I’m sad to see Cartel get away with what they did. They’ve gotten away with it for now but they will get their due.”

Aug 24, 2017

Wall Street Journal - Katy Stech

World Surf League to Take Over Titans of Mavericks Contest

Under the proposed deal, World Surf League wouldn’t buy the Titans of Mavericks trademark or the social media accounts used to promote the event, though it could refer to past contests and use some of the published content without paying royalty money.

The trademark’s ownership would remain with Mr. Guess, who said his company and related affiliates spent more than $3 million developing and marketing the Titans of Mavericks brand. Mr. Guess, in turn, has promised not to use the Titans of Mavericks brand when naming future surfing contests.

“The event and brand I created generated a global audience for the event unlike anything before and I look forward to the WSL and their leadership continuing the success of the athletes, the event and the Mavericks community at large,” Mr. Guess said in an unpublished press release that was filed in court.

The contest organizer filed for chapter 11 protection on Jan. 31, facing more than $1.5 million in debt. Its lawyers said that the event “faced operating difficulties arising from delayed sponsor payments, political complications, costly litigation and the need to maintain their necessary permits.”

The contest’s revenue came from sponsorship deals with Red Bull, Clif Bar, Fox Sports and Pandora Internet Radio, along with proceeds accruing from branded clothing, hats, posters and stickers, court papers said.

Aug 24, 2017

Stab Magazine - Jake Howard

Is Mavericks About To Join The Big Wave World Tour?  WSL gets 'Titans of Mavericks' permit for half price. 

Aug 24, 2017

The Inertia - Chase Scheinbaum

World Surf League Wants to Purchase Mavericks Contest Permit for $525,000

“The WSL demonstrated their commitment to women athletes when Paige Alms became the first-ever Pe’ahi Challenge women’s champion. The Harbor Commission has an opportunity to support Mavericks becoming part of the Big Wave Tour,” says Sabrina Brennan, one of the harbor commissioners.

Aug 24, 2017

NBC Bay Area - Robert Handa

Mavericks Surf Contest May Resurface In Possible Deal With World Surfing League

Aug 24, 2017

Mercury News - Julie Jag

Mavericks surf contest permit could be sold to WSL

Cartel Management, Inc., on Wednesday sought approval from a bankruptcy court to sell some of its assets to the WSL.

According to documents filed with the United States Bankruptcy Court Central District’s Los Angeles Division and obtained by the Sentinel, “The Purchased Assets specifically include, without limitation, the Special Use Permit Number 2016-01 (5-Year term: 2016/2017 through 2020/2021) issued by the San Mateo County Harbor District.”

The sale of the five-year permit would be contingent on the harbor district approving the sale and the transfer of the permit at its Sept. 20 meeting. The permit serves as the cornerstone among more than a dozen permits needed to host the contest at the big-wave break near Pillar Point Harbor in Half Moon Bay.

Aug 14, 2017

Santa Cruz Waves - Aloe Driscoll 

Faces of Surf: Julie Cox

In addition to a successful career as a professional surfer, Julie Cox has an impressive track record as an entrepreneur: her most recent endeavor is Traveler Surf & Swim Club, which offers a warm haven from the cold waters of Pacifica.

Aug 13, 2017

Red Bull Surf Video

Watch world's bravest surfers going huge in Puerto Escondido

Video features Bianca Valenti surfing Puerto Escondido

July 29, 2017

Surfline - Devyn Bisson

10 Female Surf Filmmakers You Should Know

July 27, 2017

LA Times - David Carrillo Peñaloza

 Courtney Conlogue to contend at U.S. Open of Surfing

July 21, 2017

Orange County Register - Corky Carroll

Bethany Hamilton a great addition to Surfers Hall of Fame

“Good work by the Surfers Hall of Fame in inducting Bethany Hamilton this year.”

July 19, 2017

The Inertia - Chase Scheinbaum

Sophie Goldschmidt Appointed CEO of WSL; Pro Surfing Becomes One of Few Sports Leagues Run By a Woman

July 19, 2017


WSL Announces Sophie Goldschmidt as New CEO — Sports marketing veteran to take over from interim CEO Dirk Ziff in August

With this role, Sophie Goldschmidt becomes one of the few female executives to lead a global sports league for both male and female professional athletes. She’ll move from London to Santa Monica and start in August.

June 14, 2017

Half Moon Bay Review - Carina Woudenberg

WSL puts in offer for Mavericks

“We are very interested in working with the community and the community leaders to hold a 2017/2018 event,” said Jonathan Marshall, chief operating officer for the WSL, on Friday. “We are exploring whatever opportunities exist and we will only do this as a partner with the community.”

June 14, 2017

Stab Magazine - Jake Howard

The WSL Makes A Play To Take Over The Mavericks Event

The WSL confirmed to Stab that an offer was made after Cartel cancelled a planned auction of their assets scheduled for June 1 and before a June 7 court hearing and was declined.

June 14, 2017

SURFER - Matthew B. Shaw

Titans of Mavericks off the market, planned auction of big-wave contest's assets canceled indefinitely  

Cartel has blamed Mavericks Invitational officials (Jeff Clark, Cassandra Clark, & Brian Overfelt) and the San Mateo Harbor District for scaring away bidders.

June 14, 2017

Mercury News - Elliott Almond

Debt-riddled Mavericks contest draws interest from World Surf League — Cartel rejected WSL offer that came after a June 1 auction scheduled for June 1 was canceled

“If there is an opportunity for the WSL to acquire those assets we will,” Dave Prodan said. “If they opt to sell those assets to another party, the WLS will reach out to another party to see if a partnership could be formed. If there is not a deal to be made with Cartel, the WSL will still pursue any other available avenues with regards to obtaining the correct permits to run an event.”

June 3, 2017

San Mateo Daily Journal - Samantha Weigel

Surf contest pulled from auction: Cartel postpones Mavericks sale, remains in bankruptcy

“I think they’re playing the blame game and this is probably embarrassing for them, that they didn’t have a bunch of people lining up to fork over $1 million and they’re blaming people for it,” Brennan said.

Ultimately, Brennan said she just wants to see a suitable group run Mavericks, particularly as for the first time women must be included in the contest.

June 2, 2017

GrindTV - Margaret Steelie

A guide to surfing in the Bay Area

JUNE 2, 2017

Santa Cruz Sentinel - Michael Todd

No auction held for Mavericks contest owners, surf competition unlikely next season

“It’s one thing when it’s mother nature. It’s another thing when it’s mismanagement,” Brennan said.

“The sooner this gets resolved, the better,” Brennan said. “This is putting the main event in jeopardy. There were good surf days last season where they could have called the event. I’m very hopeful that a well-organized group will surface.”

JUNE 1, 2017

Surfline - Marcus Sanders

Cancelled: No Bidders at Maverick's Event Auction

As Jeff Clark told Surfline, “it’s gonna be kind of a mess right now.”

This is mostly due to the many permits required to run the event. Harbor commissioner Sabrina Brennan told NBC Bay Area “she had no confidence Cartel will salvage the situation, saying, ‘This is a strategic retreat, because no one bid on what appears to be a worthless asset.’”

The asset in question is the main permit for the event. According to Clark and Brian Overfelt, who, along with Clark’s wife Cassandra make up Maverick’s Invitational, the permit was never really the Titans’ to sell. They both assert that Cartel Management — the Titans’ parent company — illegally got the Maverick’s Invitational name dropped from the permit. And, they both claim the permit was never transferable in the first place. (Hence Brennan’s “worthless asset” comment above.)

Griffin Guess, Titans’ CEO, meanwhile, asserts both that, “I don't think [Brennan] is qualified whatsoever to evaluate our organization,” and that, “The permit is clearly in Cartel's name.”

As you’d imagine, all of this will translate to more lawyers and public meetings and local political infighting — which has sadly been a part of this event since the beginning. As of press time, it’s all still pretty unclear as to what's going to happen next.

June 1, 2017

Wall Street Journal - Jonathan Randles

Mavericks Surf Contest Organizers Call Off Bankruptcy Auction

The Harbor Commission raised objections to the auction, asking for time to review any potential purchaser.

Ms. Brennan said she hoped the bankruptcy gets resolved quickly so whoever runs the Mavericks event in the future has enough time to organize the contest for the upcoming season.

June 1, 2017

San Jose Mercury News - Elliot Almond

Brakes pumped on public sale of Mavericks surf contest

The Harbor District filed an objection to the auction process with the court because officials want to make sure whoever takes control of the event can meet the permit’s financial and safety conditions.

“The Harbor District is supposed to be the lead agency for the event,” said Brennan, the commissioner most outspoken about contest issues. “I don’t think we’ve lived up to that responsibility.”

Brennan said the commission didn’t properly vet Cartel before issuing the permit and needs to streamline a system for issuing permission to hold the event.

June 1, 2017

SFGATE - Michelle Robertson

Mavericks surf contest auction cancelled due to no bidders

June 1, 2017

Stab Magazine - Jake Howard

So Apparently, Now You Can’t Buy The Mavericks' Comp

If there’s one thing that’s more predictable than an afternoon west wind in Northern California it’s that the Titans of Mavericks and Cartel Management will continue to upstage their own absurdity.

MAY 31, 2017

NBC Bay Area - Robert Handa

Mavericks Organizer Cancels Auction, Citing No Bidders

Cartel Managment said there were no actual bidders, despite what they initially called widespread interest.

Harbor Commissioner Sabrina Brennan said she had no confidence Cartel will salvage the situation, saying, “This is a strategic retreat because no one bid on what appears to be a worthless asset.”

MAY 25, 2017

NBC Bay Area - Robert Handa

More Legal Maneuvering in Mavericks Surf Saga

"We're concerned whoever obtains the permit is capable of running the event and has the financial resources to pull it off, “Brennan said. "We're worried about public safety and the safety of the athletes.”

“We also believe Cartel is misleading potential buyers by listing some permits, including one from the Coastal Commission, which have expired.”

Brennan added there is still some question on whether Cartel legally has the rights to the harbor district permit since the district board never saw the final permit, which attorneys representing Cartel and the district changed without board approval.

MAY 12, 2017

Law Street - Jillian Sequeira

Surf Equity: Titans of Mavericks and Beyond

“Brennan went to work presenting the case that the competition was excluding women.”

MAY 12, 2017

San Mateo Daily Journal - Samantha Weigel

Federal court throws Mavericks up for auction: Harbor District surf contest permit can be offered in Cartel’s bankruptcy 

“The permit is not assignable without consent of the Harbor District,” Brennan said, adding bidders should realize “when you hand over $1 million, you might get a permit but it has Cartel’s name on it, not your own. ...There’s going to be a lot of work to be done. It’s just simply not for sale.”

MAY 12, 2017

Mercury News - Elliott Almond

Who will win contentious bidding war over Mavericks surf contest?

MAY 9, 2017

Wall Street Journal - Stephanie Gleason

Premier Surfing Contest About to Hit Auction Block—Sport’s leading athletes urge that a more professional owner take over the Titans of Mavericks

MAY 9, 2017

Silicon Valley Business Journal - Jody Meacham

Harbor Commission calls foul on Mavericks surf contest auction plan

The San Mateo County Harbor Commission has spent an estimated $200,000 in legal fees because of the Mavericks bankruptcy, which wiped out last winter’s big-wave surf contest.

MAY 9, 2017

San Mateo Daily Journal - Samantha Weigel

Mavericks looks to auction assets: Renowned surf competition in limbo as Los Angeles company files bankruptcy

“It doesn’t appear to be in the district’s best interest, or the best interest of the public and the athletes to allow an unfit individual, organization or company to purchase the Harbor District permit,” Brennan said. “It would be very speculative on anybody’s part to spend $1 million for literally nothing tangible.”

Brennan, who noted she didn’t vote to give Cartel a multi-season permit, said the district unwittingly created an asset. She said the Coastal Commission thankfully also has a role in deciding who leads the contest. But in the meantime, due to Cartel being at the discretion of bankruptcy court, the permits and assets have been frozen.

“It’s a very difficult situation because as much as I want a great organization to show up and run the event professionally for the athletes and fans and for the community, we’re just sort of in limbo,” she said.

MAY 8, 2017

Pacifica Tribune - Dayla Soul

Brennan carves path for women’s surf—‘Her call for equity has stoked the flames of myopic tribalism in the surf community and local politics’

MAY 8, 2017

2017 WSL Big Wave Awards - Dayla Soul & Jody Banks

MAY 8, 2017

Los Angeles Times - Dan Weikel

Mavericks big wave contest plans to auction business assets amid bankruptcy proceedings

“That is the sad state of affairs at this time,” Brennan said.

MAY 8, 2017

Stab Magazine - Jake Howard

"Substantially" You Can Purchase The Titans Of Mavs Assets For $1 Mil

MAY 7, 2017

Sound Cloud - Sabrina Brennan

Cartel Bankruptcy Hearing: March 8, 2017

MAY 6, 2017

Los Angeles Times - Dan Weikel

Coastal Commission is on a shoestring budget, and Trump won't make it any better

“The budget has been a challenge ever since I arrived at the commission in early 1989,” said Jack Ainsworth, the agency’s executive director. “We have wanted to provide good service to our constituents, but we haven’t always been able to do that. It’s been frustrating.”

MAY 6, 2017

BBC News - Joanna Jolly

Fighting for equality in big-wave surfing

Brennan's presentation argued that if a permit was given as things stood, women would be excluded from coastal access, and the commissioners agreed, demanding that the organisers of Titans of Mavericks should come back within a year with a plan to include women.

MAY 6, 2017

The Inertia - Chase Scheinbaum

Got $1 Million? The Mavericks Big Wave Contest Permit May Go Up for Auction Next Month

MAY 5, 2017

Santa Cruz Sentinel - Jim Seimas

Big Wave Surfing: Cartel Management Inc. to auction off assets

MARCH 15, 2017

Half Moon Bay Review - Kaitlyn Bartley

Meet Coastside’s young ocean guardian

MARCH 7, 2017

Los Angeles Times - Steve Lopez

Why the new Coastal Commission chief is a good bet to defend California's beaches

MARCH 3, 2017

SF Gate - Peter Fimrite

SF Supervisor Aaron Peskin named to California Coastal Commission

March 3, 2017

NBC Bay Area - Robert Handa

New Legal Issue Pits Titans of Mavericks Organizers Against Its Main Sponsor

March 3, 2017

BBC World Service Outlook - Audio Interview

Surfing at Mavericks: 'The waves can lift boulders'

February 21, 2017

Silicon Valley Business Journal - Jody Meacham

Former Mavericks partners quarrel over surf event's permit

February 16, 2017

Silicon Valley Business Journal - Jody Meacham

Dude, what happened to Mavericks? Inside the crest and crash of an epic contest

February 4, 2017

NBC Bay Area - Robert Handa

The Cartel's Griffin Guess files bankruptcy & wipes out Mavericks

Bianca Valenti, Grant Washburn, and Sabrina Brennan talk with Robert Handa on NBC Bay Area.

February 4, 2017

KRON 4 - Gabe Slate

The Cartel's Griffin Guess wipes out Mavericks surf contest

Sabrina Brennan talks with Gabe Slate on KRON 4.

February 3, 2017

New York Times - John Clark, Sports Columnist 

Mavericks, a Premier Surfing Event, Is Canceled Amid Financial Woes

February 1, 2017

San Francisco Chronicle - Bruce Jenkins, Sports Columnist  

Frustrated Mavericks surfers long for simpler times

February 1, 2017

Los Angeles Times - Dan Weikel

Bankruptcy filings threaten to wipe out this season's Mavericks surfing contest

FEBRUARY 1, 2017

Half Moon Bay Review - Carina Woudenberg

Mavericks owners file bankruptcy

FEBRUARY 1, 2017

Silicon Valley Business Journal - Jody Meacham

Mavericks wipes out; can it recover?

January 31, 2017

NBC Bay Area - Robert Handa

Mavericks Surf Contest Organizers File For Bankruptcy

JANUARY 26, 2017

Mercury News - Sports

Big-wave bliss: Mavericks didn’t need a contest to show its teeth

JANUARY 18, 2017

Stab Magazine - Jake Howard

Stormy, With A Chance Of Lawsuit!


San Francisco Chronicle - Bruce Jenkins, Sports Columnist

Big-wave breakthrough: Female surfer leads Mavericks revolution


San Francisco Chronicle - Bruce Jenkins, Sports Columnist

First wave: The women chosen to surf Mavericks


San Francisco Chronicle - Bruce Jenkins, Sports Columnist

How ‘Outer Bar Babes’ are transforming big-wave surfing


San Francisco Chronicle - Bruce Jenkins, Sports Columnist

Tales of courage among female big-wave surfers

DECEMBER 15, 2016

Peninsula Press - Jane Nevins, Stanford Journalism Program

Women to make history surfing big-wave contest, but struggles for equality remain

“For women to have the same opportunities, to be a big-wave surfer and make a living at it, you have to have the opportunities to compete in contests, to have your photo taken to get sponsors,” said Jennifer Savage, policy director for the environmental activist network Surfrider.

Sarah Gerhardt watched friends struggling to make a living surfing without sponsors because they didn’t have a certain look. So, Gerhardt decided not to surf professionally, and instead, focused on her teaching career. She is a tenured professor and chair of the chemistry department at Monterey Peninsula College.

Women will have the opportunity to compete this year largely because of one woman’s crusade. Sabrina Brennan, the San Mateo County Harbor Commissioner, fought for a separate women’s heat at Mavericks.

Video Produced by Jane Nevins, interview on Nov. 30, 2016

DECEMBER 8, 2016

Boston Globe - Shira Springer

9 women’s sports stories from 2016 worth another look

The 2016-17 event will include a one-hour heat for six female surfers with $30,000 in prize money at stake. That’s a big breakthrough. Almost as big as the three- and four-story waves you’ll find at Mavericks. And it happened because female surfers lobbied the California Coastal Commission, which made female inclusion a condition of its permit. Clearly, you shouldn’t mess with fearless women who surf the biggest waves.

DECEMBER 1, 2016

The Inertia - Kendra A. Gardner

Why Women Are Striving (and Charging) for Equality in More Ways than One

December 1, 2016

Adventure Sports - Haven Livingston

Big Wave Women—Female talent in the spotlight at Pe‘ahi Challenge and Titans of Mavericks

NOVEMBER 30, 2016

The Inertia - Chase Scheinbaum

Defamation Lawsuit Against Titans of Mavericks Organizers Withdrawn

NOVEMBER 28, 2016

The Inertia - Janice Greenwood

Opinion: Women May Be Actually Out-Competing Men at Jaws

November 23, 2016

NPR Morning Edition - Staff

Women Take On Big-Wave Surfing, Once The Domain Of Men, At Mavericks

November 19, 2016

Santa Cruz Sentinel - Haven Livingston, Just Add Water

Work has just begun for female big wave surfers

The Pe’ahi event made women’s history, as recognized by media outlets across the globe, and female athletes got a taste of what big wave contests could be in the future.

“The Jaws event was a good example to see how well it went,” said Moller, a professional waterwoman. 

Moller didn’t qualify past the semifinal at Pe’ahi, but appreciated the chance to move on. She said a single-heat contest like Titans isn’t really a contest.

“It’s more exciting and makes an emotional connection for the viewers if they get to see someone carry on to the finals,” she said. “The Mavericks contest may want to think about creating that emotion too.”

NOVEMBER 13, 2016

ESPN W -  Alyssa Roenigk

What's it like to surf Maui's big-wave break Jaws in an all-women contest?

Keala Kennelly: Paige did such an amazing job and sent it. She went out there and earned her victory and carried it for the women. But Paige is a true sportswoman and she was bummed I wasn't in the final. We love and respect each other, and Paige definitely wants me out there. But she is so deserving. Paige let people know that we deserve to be there.

NOVEMBER 11, 2016

Surfer - Justin Housman

Surfer, Save Thyself

On Tuesday Cori Schumacher, three-time women’s longboard world champ and vocal surf community gadfly/activist, won a seat on the Carlsbad City Council, a coastal town in North San Diego County. Carlsbad is a politically conservative ‘burb, and Schumacher, an outspoken LBGT activist, was a surprise victor, buoyed in part by her prominent role in opposing Measure A, a plan to develop a chunk of Carlsbad’s coastal zone. I called her after election day to find out why she’d run, what she hoped to accomplish, and to ask what surfers can do when confronted with uncomfortable political realities.

NOVEMBER 11, 2016

The Associated Press

Women break glass ceiling in surf competition

“It’s the least we can do to speak to the election the other day,” Valenti told The Associated Press in a phone interview before the competition, referring to Hillary Clinton’s defeat by President-elect Donald Trump.

“I watched Hillary’s concession speech and what she was saying - how important it was for women to really stand up now more than ever to break the glass ceiling - and that really resonated a lot,” Valenti added.

“This is really about paving the way for the future generations and creating opportunities for them,” Valenti said. “Just the importance of using our voice all the time and speaking up for what we want.”

NOVEMBER 11, 2016

The Inertia - Jennifer Savage, California Policy Manager, Surfrider Foundation

Heal Your Election Woes By Embracing Women, Diversity, and the Environment

The thing about being an activist, is the “active” part – sooner or later despair propels you to action.

NOVEMBER 6, 2016

NPR Weekend Edition Sunday - Lauren Frayer

Gaza's Surfer Girl Hangs Up Her Board — And Not By Choice

"Once I paddle out past the breakers — I forget my troubles," says Ali Erheem, 25, a member of an informal group that calls themselves the Gaza Surf Club. "It's pure happiness."

"I wish I could go back to being a child," she says. "That's when I felt most free — surfing."

She says doesn't want to grow up. She dreams of teaching other girls to surf. But she acknowledges that's probably impossible, since she'll soon be a wife, moving into her mother-in-law's house — still in Gaza, but inland.

NOVEMBER 5, 2016

Los Angeles Times - Dan Weikel

Let women compete, Coastal Commission orders famous surf contest at Mavericks

“This is a great step forward for our sport, women’s athletics and women. You know, it’s about human rights,” said Bianca Valenti, a top female big-wave rider and co-founder of the Committee for Equity in Women’s Surfing.

Supporters who lobbied the commission to add women included representatives from the Surfrider Foundation, the Committee for Equity in Women’s Surfing, the Coastal Protection Network, the Brown Girl Surf organization and San Mateo County Harbor Commissioner Sabrina Brennan.

NOVEMBER 4, 2016

Jason Lock - Magic Seaweed

Bianca Valenti Should Be A Titans of Mavericks

Keala Kennelly, who told magicseaweed: ''I'm stoked to be included in the six women Titans, however it really doesn't feel right that Bianca Valenti was excluded. She has put more work into this than anyone and she is out there surfing Mavericks every swell. They have her down as first alternate, however, I would be cool with them adding a 7th woman to this historical women's heat as long as that woman is Bianca.''

NOVEMBER 4, 2016

Half Moon Bay Review - Carina Woudenberg

Coastal Commission grants 1-year permit for Mavericks

“I think the excitement (among the organizers) is simply for the media,” said attorney Karen Tynan who has been working pro bono with women big-wave surfers. “There's a lack of real genuine inclusiveness.”

Tynan also cited a recent Los Angeles jury verdict against Cartel Management that she says will leave the company liable to pay $1 million to Segler Holdings, LLC for breaching a contract and failing to provide promotional services.

Tynan expressed concern that the organizers might not have the financial resources to continue to make the contest available to women.

NOVEMBER 4, 2016

Daily Journal - Samantha Weigel

Women guaranteed spot at Mavericks: Coastal Commission approves permit for surf competition with contingencies

Alms, Kennelly, Moller and Valenti had urged the commission to require women be included after collaborating to form the Committee for Equity in Women’s Surfing.

These four women, as well as Gerhardt, also took top honors during a women-focused surf day at Mavericks in December 2014 known as the WickrX Super Sessions.

Sabrina Brennan, a San Mateo County Harbor District commissioner who has advocated for women’s inclusion, said she and others were extremely disappointed local surfer Valenti was not chosen and believes more women should be included. Brennan said she’s pleased that the Coastal Commission, as well as the female athletes, retained leverage as Titans was only provided a one-year permit.

“It’s a foot in the door,” Brennan said. “When the permit’s being reviewed, it gives them some leverage to try and negotiate more equitable terms and a bigger footprint on the event.”

NOVEMBER 3, 2016

Beach Grit - Rory Parker

Titans of Mavericks Female Blunder—Cartel drags feet, pays price... 

‘Well, you know, they need to pump more iron.’ That’s from Jeff Clark. ‘The girls aren’t good enough yet.’

NOVEMBER 2, 2016

San Francisco Chronicle - Bruce Jenkins

Mavericks permit extended 1 year, women added to contest

Bianca Valenti had no issue with the six women selected; they are all friends. But she suspected that as the organizer of the Committee for Equity in Women’s Surfing, a women’s group that often has clashed with Cartel personnel, politics may have been involved.

“Someone had to take one for the team,” said Valenti, managing a smile, as the hearing concluded. “It’s a blatant diss. It’s Cartel; I think they’re intimidated by a group that looks out for women athletes.

November 2, 2016

Half Moon Bay Review - Clay Lambert

Does public benefit from longer Mavericks contract?

Ask yourselves: How does the public benefit from granting one organization four more years of exclusive rights to make money off of a California jewel?

November 1, 2016

The Inertia - Jennifer Savage, California Policy Manager, Surfrider Foundation

CA Coastal Commission Wed. Meeting Could Shape Future of Titans of Mavs

The move toward more inclusivity heartens us, but one heat, begrudgingly given, does not a gender gap close. The Committee for Equity in Women’s Surfing calls for more, now. And in line with our dedication to access for all, Surfrider Foundation supports this proposal.

OCTOBER 30, 2016

San Francisco Examiner - Brendan Bartholomew

Mavericks surf contest adds women’s division

While the Coastal Commission generally addresses land use and environmental issues, spokesperson Noaki Schwartz said it is not unprecedented for her agency to require equal access to facilities and events.

“The [California] Coastal Act mandates that the commission maximize public access,” Schwartz said. “So the inclusion of women at an invitation-only surf competition on public land certainly helps fulfill that mandate.”

Brennan has criticized Cartel for not moving more quickly, and believes the event should include multiple women’s heats. A woman should also join the five-person selection committee that decides which athletes are invited to the prestigious competition, she said.

But Cartel spokesperson Brian Waters said award-winning surfer Sarah Gerhardt had previously been offered a spot on the Titans of Mavericks selection committee, but had declined due to other obligations.

“We’re not fighting here; there’s no pushing back,” Waters said, though he added that adding multiple women’s heats might not be feasible.

Each Titans of Mavericks competition depends on the presence of big, challenging waves. Organizers have a window from Nov. 1 through the end of March to look at wave and weather conditions and select a date for the event, Waters explained.

On that chosen day, there are only so many hours and waves available, Waters said.

“It is impossible to put three more heats in a day,” Waters said. “Within an hour, you might get eight to 10 contestable waves.”

The lack of equal representation in events like Titans of Mavericks has taken an economic toll, Brennan said, because being deprived of the spotlight means even the best female surfers struggle to obtain prize money and endorsement deals.

OCTOBER 28, 2016

New York Times - John Clarke

For First Time in 17 Years, Women Will Compete in Top Big-Wave Surfing Contest

Sabrina Brennan, who heads the San Mateo County Harbor Commission, which manages the Mavericks surf area, helped in the fight to include women — which at times grew tense.

“Organizers would show up at meetings with their attorneys and just stare at you with a menacing look,” said Brennan, who is also a member of the Committee for Equity in Women’s Surfing. “It was intimidating.”

She also said some event organizers had told several female surfers to get their own Mavericks event.

Still, Brennan said she was pleased with the outcome.

“It’s about time,” she said. “It feels like it shouldn’t have taken this long. And I wonder why it’s taken so long. It’s exciting and thrilling. But we’re not there yet. Women athletes have to keep asking for what they want.”

OCTOBER 28, 2016

New York Times - Mike McPhate

Female Surfers Tear Down a Big Wave Barrier

Ultimately, it took the state to force the change at Titans of Mavericks, which was known in its early years as the “Men Who Ride Mountains” contest.

The decision by Cartel Management, the company that owns the tournament, followed a campaign over the last year by a small group of female surfers along with Sabrina Brennan, a San Mateo County harbor commissioner.

Organized under the banner “Committee for Equity in Women’s Surfing,” the surfers pressured California’s Coastal Commission into demanding that Mavericks add a women’s heat or risk losing its permit to hold the event.

The campaign worked.

OCTOBER 28, 2016

Huffington Post - Carla Herreria

Female Surfers Tear Down a Big Wave Barrier

Ultimately, it took the state to force the change at Titans of Mavericks, which was known in its early years as the “Men Who Ride Mountains” contest.

The decision by Cartel Management, the company that owns the tournament, followed a campaign over the last year by a small group of female surfers along with Sabrina Brennan, a San Mateo County harbor commissioner.

Organized under the banner “Committee for Equity in Women’s Surfing,” the surfers pressured California’s Coastal Commission into demanding that Mavericks add a women’s heat or risk losing its permit to hold the event.

The campaign worked. 

OCTOBER 23, 2016

Deadspin - Lindsey Adler

Mavericks Surf Contest Begrudgingly Allows Women To Compete

For the first time in its history, one of the most prestigious surf contests in the country will include a women’s heat in its 2016-17 competition. But the addition to the Titans of Mavericks competition wasn’t done solely because Mavericks organizers felt like it. It was required by the California Coastal Commission as a condition of the competition receiving a renewed permit—and that happened because of lobbying to the commission by female surfers.

OCTOBER 22, 2016

Mercury News & Santa Cruz Sentinel - Julie Jag

Titans of Mavericks had to add women’s heat to clear barrier to permit

A California Coastal Commission report released Friday afternoon said its staff recommendation would have been to deny contest organizer Cartel Management its permit if Cartel did not include a women’s heat in its plans for the 2016-17 contest.

Within its request to the CCC, Cartel laid out its plans for the contest, which included no women’s heat until the 2017-18 season.

On Wednesday, Cartel announced it would hold a one-hour, six-woman contest with a $30,000 prize purse within the main event this season. 

“It’s quite simply the right time,” Cartel CEO Brian Waters said Wednesday. “There was no compelling driver other than it was the time to do it.”

OCTOBER 21, 2016

KQED - Kelly O'Mara

Mavericks Surfing Contest Will Include Women for First Time

“There was no hint that anything like this was brewing,” said Sabrina Brennan, who serves on the San Mateo Harbor Commission and who first brought the issue to the attention of the Coastal Commission.

“I wasn’t expecting this,” Valenti told Surfer Mag. “But I think it’s awesome. I’m just excited to see the women’s side of the sport strengthen. It felt weird always asking for them to let us women in. So it feels great knowing they know want us to be apart of this rad big-wave community.”

Sabrina Brennan said some of the event’s organizers would like to hold a roundtable discussion with the women and are considering the possibility of a two-day format, weather permitting.

She also said there are still some issues to be worked out.

“I’d like to see something in writing,” she said. So far the news has only been mentioned on social media.

The female surfers have also requested a woman sit on the selection committee.

OCTOBER 21, 2016

NBC Bay Area - Rebecca Greenway & Christie Smith

Mavericks Will Include Women Surfers for First Time in History

Harbor Commissioner Sabrina Brennan has made the issue of women's inclusion in the sporting competition one of the major issues in her reelection and says she has been an advocate for change throughout her term.

OCTOBER 21, 2016

SFGate - Kristin Hanes

Women to ride big waves in 'Titans of Mavericks' competition for the first time

Big wave surfer Bianca Valentino, who helped found a group called, "Committee for Equity in Woman's Surfing" said she's thrilled.

"I was really pleasantly surprised. I wasn't expecting it, so I'm really happy to see progress," she said. "We're celebrating that things are starting to happen, with this, with the election. It's bringing attention to important issues like opportunity and equity for women in America and in the world."

Sabrina Brennan, a San Mateo County Harbor District Commissioner, has been fighting for female inclusion in the competition. She's cautiously optimistic.

"It's great they want to include women, but the women asked for a multi-heat event, which is what the men have. They should have a multi-heat event, and the same amount of prize money. Those issues haven't been addressed in this one-hour heat, but maybe it's a good starting point."

OCTOBER 21, 2016

Santa Cruz Sentinel - Brooke Wright

Titans of Mavericks looking forward to big waves, women’s heat

“I’m excited to see the community grow,” said Bianca Valenti, a big wave surfer from San Francisco who showed up for the paddle out. “The guys have always been supportive in the water, so it’s nice to see them supporting us on the competitive side, too.”

“It’s incredible that there’s a women’s heat, but it’s a little bittersweet because my sister [Savannah] is my surfing partner and she got a big injury last year,” Pat Shaughnessy said. “I’m really excited for the girls, I just wish my sister was in it.”

OCTOBER 21, 2016

KION - Maya Holmes

Titans of Mavericks will include women—First year for female surfers

"Having that exposure and getting women out there I think it will really be encouraging for a lot of young girls,” said surfer Damon Franz. “To all the women competing, good luck."

OCTOBER 20, 2016

Stab Mag - Jake Howard

For the Titans Of Mavericks to Run the Women Have to be Included

“I’d like to see if I can make an amending motion to add a specific condition that we ask the applicant to provide a plan for encouraging equal opportunity for women surfers in future events,” continued Mark Vargas.

His motion, inspired largely by the diligent work of San Mateo County Harbor Commissioner Sabrina Brennan, passed with a 7-4 vote. Now it’s time to turn the vote into action.

OCTOBER 20, 2016

San Mateo Daily Journal - Samantha Weigel

Six women to compete for own Mavericks title: Big wave surf competition to host first women’s division

Coastside resident and activist Sabrina Brennan, a local harbor commissioner who’s advocated for women’s inclusion and is working with the Committee for Equity in Women’s Surfing, said she’s thrilled to see this first step.

“This is just really fantastic news and nice that it’s happening the same year that we are hopefully going to be electing our first woman president. I think it’s a really important year for women and I’m glad to see their recognition and they’re making a significant step forward toward the inclusion of women and I hope that grows,” Brennan said.

Brennan noted many of the group’s requests — such as having women involved in the selection process, providing more than just a one-heat women’s division and an equal purse prize — still stand.

“My hope is that the event evolves,” Brennan said. “There needs to be real equity.”

OCTOBER 20, 2016

The Mercury News - Julie Jag

Women to surf at Titans of Mavericks

“I’m pretty excited about what’s going on, especially since Friday I was pretty pissed off,” said Sabrina Brennan, who has been a driving force for the inclusion of women in the competition.

Brennan, a San Mateo County Harbor District Commissioner, made her initial push for inclusion when she appeared before the California Coastal Commission during its local meeting in 2015. She asked the CCC to make including women in the contest a requirement for obtaining the commission’s permit. The commission voted to adopt the requirement for future permits. 

Brennan said Wednesday’s announcement is good news. Still, she noted that the Committee for Equity in Women’s Surfing — the group founded by pro surfers Bianca Valenti, Keala Kennelly, Paige Alms and Andrea Moller — will continue to push for equal treatment.

“It is great news. I’m very excited about it,” Brennan said. “I think having the dialogue is very important.”

“Whoever holds the permit needs to run a professional event,” she added, “and that means including equity for women.”

OCTOBER 19, 2016

Surfer - Ashtyn Douglas

Women's Heat to be Held at Titans of Mavericks

“To me, this is a lesson showing that if you want something, you’ve got to speak up,” says Bianca Valenti.

Keala Kennelly, who’s been on the big-wave scene for over about a decade, is equally excited about the new inclusion. “I’m stoked,” says Kennelly. “I think this is a big win for women’s surfing, women’s sports, and women in general. WSL came to the party last year when they announced a Women’s Big Wave World Tour Championships for 2017 at Jaws or Todos. La Vaca Gigante by Oakley [a big-wave event in Spain] announced they will have a women’s heat with equal prize money to the men. The Titans are a little late to the party, but I say better late than never!”

OCTOBER 19, 2016

Half Moon Bay Review - Staff 

Mavericks organizers agree to include women this year—Plans are sketchy, suggest 6 women in single heat

Details of the decision are sketchy. As of 1 p.m. Wednesday, the only written notice that there would be women in the 2016-17 event came in the way of social media postings that read, “Six women. One hour. $30,000 on the line. 2016-2017 women’s heat.” Cartel Chief Operating Officer Brian Waters confirmed that women would participate in this season’s contest but declined to provide any details.

OCTOBER 19, 2016

Half Moon Bay Review - Carina Woudenberg

Half Moon Bay resident files lawsuit against Cartel

OCTOBER 19, 2016

Half Moon Bay Review - Carina Woudenberg

Mavericks plans women’s heat in 2017-18

Bianca Valenti said she saw the move to add a women's heat as a step in the right direction.

“I think that it's positive, obviously. I don't see any reson why they shouldn't do it this year, ” said Valenti.

Sabrina Brennan described the proposal as “half-baked” and expressed concern that if not enough women met the criteria, there wouldn’t be a women’s heat.

OCTOBER 17, 2016

Stab Mag - Jake Howard

The Operators Of The Titans Of Mavericks Are Being Sued For Cyber Bullying

October 17, 2016

The Inertia - Chase Scheinbaum

Scandal-Plagued Organizers of Titans of Mavericks Sued for Defamation by Community Activist

OCTOBER 16, 2016

The Inertia - Alexander Haro

Titans of Mavericks Event Submits Plans to Hold Women’s Heats

October 15, 2016

Santa Cruz Sentinel - Staff Writer

Big Wave Surfing: Cartel submits plans for women’s heat in 2017-18

OCTOBER 11, 2016

Santa Cruz Sentinel - Julie Jag

Big wave surfing: Titans of Mavericks may be required to hold women’s heats

OCTOBER 4, 2016

The Inertia - Chase Scheinbaum 

World’s Top Female Surfers Infuriated by Titans of Mavericks Invite List

SEPTEMBER 30, 2016

NBC Bay Area - Rebecca Greenway

A League of Their Own: Women's Involvement at Mavericks Among Harbor Commission Topics

While incumbent Sabrina Brennan said the Harbor District is extremely expensive, she said she was able to play a part in paying back its incurred debt over her last term. She also spoke about her efforts on the development of volleyball courts and involvement of women at the Mavericks.

The topic of inclusion of women into Mavericks competitions has been an ongoing one on the peninsula's coast side.

Just this week, four women who would like to compete in the Titans of Mavericks submitted a request to the California Coastal Commission for a league of their own. 

SEPTEMBER 29, 2016

The Inertia - Chase Scheinbaum

Female Big Wave Surfers Fight for their Own Division in Titans of Mavericks

SEPTEMBER 28, 2016

Half Moon Bay Review - Carina Woudenberg

Women surfers submit request to ride Mavericks

SEPTEMBER 21, 2016

Surfer Magazine - Ashtyn Douglas

Double Life

On land, Paige Alms may seem like an average 28-year-old, juggling jobs to make ends meet. But in the water, she’s anything but ordinary.

AUGUST 4, 2016

Surfline - photos: Sachi Cunningham & words: Justin Housman

Women Who Ride Mountains

Through grit, determination, and smiles, these women have carved out a respected place in the city’s surf hierarchy, surely one of the country’s most demanding. 

AUGUST 3, 2016

Surfline - Pablo Zanocchi

It's Official: Surfing Will Be in the Olympics

Wednesday, August 3rd, the International Olympic Committee voted in favor of including surfing in the Tokyo Games. So in 2020, 20 men and 20 women surfers will compete for an Olympic gold medal.

JULY 25, 2016

Surfline - Kurt Steinmetz

Coco Ho Wins Paul Mitchell Supergirl Pro

This article is the first of its kind on Surfline. It features women, not just one woman, which they have done, but this article covers a whole women's league. The guys get this kind of coverage often. An overview of the women's league is not normally presented on Surfline. 

Aimee spends a significant amount of time on the Surfline website when she's not in the water...

JUNE 14, 2016

KQED Arts -  Rachael Myrow

‘The Wave I Ride’ Seeks Gender Equality for Women Big Wave Riders

NOVEMBER 6, 2016

JUNE 2, 2016

It Ain't Pretty - Documentary Film, Directed by Dayla Soul

“Why is the media still so fixated on sexualization of female surfers?  It Ain't Pretty attempts to shatter stereotypes by painting a new athletic portrait for the generations of surfer girls to come.”  —Shannon Reporting

“My wife Aimee Luthringer and my mom Lee Fernandez are very excited that my advocacy work to include women athletes in the Mavericks Surf Contest is included in Dayla Soul's documentary. The film is about the bravery and athleticism of women surfers. Can't wait to see the premier of It Ain't Pretty on Thursday, June 2, 2016 at DocFest.”  —Sabrina Brennan

MAY 11, 2016

SFDocFest - Dayla Soul

Premier of IT AIN’T PRETTY—screening at the Historic Great Star Theater

MAY 11, 2016

HuffPost - Carla Herreria

These Women Want To Be Known As Surfers, Not Sex Symbols

MAY 6, 2016

Magic Seaweed - Jason Lock

Women's Big Wave Event Could Benefit Entire Surf Industry

APRIL 28, 2016

The Inertia - Beth O'Rourke

Women’s Big Wave Surfing and the 2016 XXL Awards: Exploring How Far We’ve Come?

APRIL 15, 2016

Surfer - Ashtyn Douglas

WSL Adds Women's Event to Big Wave Tour

APRIL 15, 2016

Big Wave Tour Adds Women's and Qualifying Events

WOMEN'S CHAMPIONSHIP—$30,000 prize purse; Contested by athletes picked by the commissioner's office
Window: October 15, 2016 - February 28, 2017
Events: Pe'ahi, Todos Santos

APRIL 15, 2016

ABC - Michael Atkin and Andy Burns

Female pro surfers want industry to get on board regarding sexism concerns

MARCH 28, 2016

The Inertia - Paige Alms

Paige Alms Believes Female Big Wave Surfers Deserve Their Own Venues

“The whole drama over the Titans of Mavericks contest is just outrageous. They (the organizers) are still trying to say women are not as good as the men, trying to fight the issue rather than help make a solution…when in fact they are missing the whole point.”

“We are not asking to be included with the men; We want to have our own heat!”

—Paige Alms

MARCH 23, 2016

The Inertia - Juan Hernandez

2016 XXL Awards Nominees Announced: Keala Kennelly Makes Surfing History

MARCH 14, 2016

LA Times - Caitlin Yoshiko Kandil

Female surfers make waves despite barriers

MARCH 10, 2016

The Inertia - Alexandria Bordas

Big-Wave Surfing Is Bigger Than Ever; Where Are the Women?

FEB 28, 2016

The surfer not considered hot enough for sponsorship - BBC News, Editor & Director: Owain Rich, Camera: Chris West

FEB 19, 2016

WSL News - Anna Dimond

Andrea Moller: Let's Join the Big-Wave Party

FEB 16, 2016

Huffington Post - J.D. Kleinke

Not Yet, Surfragette: Women Athletes Still Sidelined At Big-Wave Competition

FEB 12, 2016

Outside Magazine - Op-Ed: Sachi Cunningham

Let Women Compete in Big-Wave Surf Competitions

FEB 12, 2016

CBS This Morning - Hosts: Charlie Rose, Gayle King and Norah O'Donnell

Wave of sexisim hit Titians of Mavericks surfing competition

FEB 10, 2016

KQED News - Kelly O’Mara (also published in the San Francisco Chronicle)

Mavericks Could Be Required to Include Women Surfers Next Year

FEB 10, 2016

ABC 7 News - Cornell Barnard

Women hope to be invited to Mavericks Surf competition

FEB 8, 2016

Adventure Sports Journal - Haven Livingston

Athlete Profile: Big Wave Bianca

FEB 3, 2016

My Journal - Sabrina Brennan

Hey guys, Mavericks needs women

JAN 27, 2016

Half Moon Bay Review — Op-Ed by Sabrina Brennan

Mavericks needs women

DEC 22, 2015

Surfer - Justin Housman

Mavericks Contest Could Require Women Surfers

DEC 19, 2015

Santa Cruz Sentinel - Haven Livingston

Just Add Water: Women seek equal footing at Mavericks

DEC 11, 2015

Forum KQED radio - host Mina Kim

Mavericks Faces Pressure for Women to Surf Big-Wave Contest

DEC 5, 2015

Associated Press - Kristin J. Bender - (Washington Post & numerous other newspapers)

Women want spot in big wave surf competition in California

NOV 16, 2015

Inertia - Beth O'Rourke

How Women Will Evolve Big Wave Surfing

NOV 11, 2015

Half Moon Bay Review - Clay Lambert

Add women to Mavericks lineup and be on right side of history

NOV 8, 2015

My Journal: notes from the Nov 2015 Coastal Commission hearing - Sabrina Brennan

Women to compete at Mavericks!

NOV 6, 2015

Santa Cruz Sentinel - Haven Livingston

Women to get fair shake at Mavericks

NOV 6, 2015

Inertia - Laurence Bascle

The New Wave of Surf Feminism: This Time, it’s Big!

NOV 5, 2015

Half Moon Bay Review - Carina Woudenberg

Mavericks organizers get crucial last permit

OCT 14, 2015

The Guardian - Will Coldwell

Ripple effect: How Paige Alms is taking female big-wave surfing to new heights

OCT 29, 2015

Huck - Alexia Stamatelatou

Big wave icon Paige Alms is pushing for surfing to take women seriously

JANUARY 28, 2015

The Wave I Ride - Documentary Film, Directed by Devyn Bisson

“As the director of The Wave I Ride, I wish nothing more than for this film to inspire you to vigorously chase the wave your heart needs to ride. The world needs your voice, the world needs your story, and the world needs you to go after it! It’s going to be a bloody mess with no guarantee of protection, but I promise this mess is ours to own as beautiful, vulnerable, and courageous.”

—Devyn Bisson, Director

Dec 16, 2014

 San Francisco Chronicle - Video by Sachi Cunningham

Bianca Valenti, big wave surfer

Bianca Valenti, 29, talks about big wave surfing as she heads from her home in San Francisco to surf Mavericks in Half Moon Bay on the eve of the Wickr women's big wave multimedia event.

Music: Podington Bear, "Driving"

Also featuring surfers Kyle Thiermann and Matt Becker

JULY 30, 2014

Teton - Dylan Silver

Big-Wave Surfer Bianca Valenti - High Fives