11 February, 2016 11 February, 2016

Taking on the Titans – SA’s Chris Bertish Ready for Mavericks

The big wave hits just keep on coming! Forget about the disappointment of last night’s last minute Eddie cancelation and prepare for the mayhem of Titans of Mavericks. Yep, that’s 24 of the world’s best big wave surfers taking on one of the world’s heaviest, top to bottom, big waves. Chris Bertish is the lone South African competitor, after 2014 Maverick’s winner, Grant “Twiggy” Baker had his invitation rescinded for reasons we are still trying to understand (and wish someone could explain) here at Zag HQ.

With a Mavericks title already under his belt, Chris Bertish is full of confidence going into the upcoming Titans of Maverick’s event.

Frank Solomon warms the bench as second alternate, hoping that two invitees breakdown en-route to the event. As a previous event winner at Maverick’s in 2010, the year regarded as the biggest paddle-in contest ever held, Chris Bertish can only be feeling confident. We caught up with the big wave hellman, open ocean SUP pioneer and professional motivational speaker at Heathrow Airport, as he was preparing to board his plane to Cali for the event. The call seems to have taken him by surprise, in London on a series of fund-raising and speaking engagements.

“I’ve been working on a massive project for the end of the year, that will change the lives of millions around the world…” He says cryptically.

To sort out equipment, he shot down to Cornwall to pick up wetsuits from Gul and a flotation vest that he will spend the next 12 hours unpicking and re-sewing to move the flotation panels around. Apparently Mavs pioneer, Jeff Clark has a 9’6 gun waiting for him, but Chris has never surfed it. So he hopes to give it a go and get a few waves under his belt late Thursday evening before the siren sounds for his heat on Friday morning.

If you’d like a better idea of how powerful Mavericks is, watch the clip below:

“It’s always been difficult working full time, not being a sponsored rider, to juggle making this work from RSA, but I’ve never made excuses and just always made it work and happen when I can… just showing that you can do anything, if you truly believe it and have the courage and determination to make it happen.”

No biggie for the man who lives by the motto “Dream it. See it. Believe it. Achieve it”. We’re pretty sure he’ll spend some time visualising making the drop, pulling in, getting spat out and the view from the podium, on the flight over.

“This is probably the last year that I will be competing in the Titans of Mavericks event, so this event tomorrow is even more special for me. I’ll do anything for the Mavericks event, as it’s such an immense honor, just to be invited, to ride alongside your heroes, friends and legends… it’s got such a special place in my heart, this is the event that changed my life forever.”

Home to Mavericks, Half Moon Bay in Northern California is known to produce some of the heaviest waves in the world. The event is set to go tomorrow, Friday, February 12 at 5:30pm South African Standard Time. Watch the Titans of Mavericks live here.

South Africa’s Chris Bertish will feature in Round one, Heat Two.


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