The surf hadn’t been this high in years. 50-60 foot waves sent surfers hurling down the 5 story face of the massive Maverick waves. Judges and photographers looked on nervously as the swells threatened the spectators. Then a rogue wave smashed on to shore, injuring a dozen spectators and toppling the tower. Luckily only two people needed to be hospitalized.
Many of these amazing photos were taken my my friend Dave Austin. Tons more amazing photos on his Flickr page.
Photo credits via the great SF Gate. Also Carlos Avila Gonzalez/ The Chronicle and Chad Ziemendorf/ The Chronicle (who got the rogue wave photos)