The companies that run California’s most famous big wave surfing competition plan to auction the event’s business-related assets next month in ongoing bankruptcy proceedings.
The one-day, invitation-only competition draws elite surfers from around the world to Mavericks, a rocky reef just south of San Francisco, to ride some of the biggest and steepest waves in the Americas.
The event, which is owned and run by a separate organization whose board of directors includes surfers and businessmen, has taken place nine times since 1998, but was canceled this year due to financial issues.
Titans of Mavericks and its subsidiary Cartel Management Inc., which filed for Chapter 11 protection in late January, have scheduled the public sale on June 1 at 10 a.m. in Los Angeles. Minimum opening bids of $ 1 million are required, a spokesperson said.
The sale will take place at the law firms of Levene, Neale, Bender, Yoo & Brill. Participants should be considered financially qualified and willing to make a deposit of $ 50,000 by May 25th.
Griffin Guess, founder of the Titans of Mavericks, said in a statement that an auction would create “a level playing field” for the sale of the brand and other company assets. The sale may include a pending permit for the event to be held.
Titans officials say they have a list of 71 interested parties, including sports brands, media and internet companies, national television networks and a handful of high net worth individuals.
The Chapter 11 filing allows Cartel and Titans to develop a reorganization plan to continue their operations while paying creditors over time.
According to court records, Cartel faces approximately $ 1.9 million in claims and Titans of Mavericks over $ 776,335 in claims from their top 20 creditors.
In April, Mavericks Invitational Inc., founded by Jeff Clark, who would be the first surfer to take the plunge, also filed a claim of around $ 2.15 million against Cartel Management.
Mavericks Invitational COO Cassandra Clark – Jeff’s wife – said her organization owned the event and had a deal with Cartel for merchandising, media relations, advertising and looking for sponsors.
Cartel then renamed the event to Titans of Mavericks, she said.
The cartel could not be reached for comment.
This is the sad situation at the moment.
Sabrina Brennan, Port Commissioner for San Mateo County
The competition, which would have included a women’s round for the first time this year, typically takes place between November and March, depending on surf and weather conditions off Pillar Point, near Half Moon Bay.
The cancelation occurred in February a week after Red Bull, the broadcaster and sole sponsor of Mavericks, sued Cartel and Titans of Mavericks, alleging breach of contract. The lawsuit seeks $ 400,000 in damages.
Meanwhile, the San Mateo County Port District on Monday filed a motion opposing the auction.
The district has issued a permit for the Mavericks contest which is valid for four more years.
If that permit is auctioned off, district officials say they want to make sure any winning bidder can meet the permit conditions and has a proven ability to host successful events.
Port Commissioner Sabrina Brennan said other permits issued for this year’s competition by the California Coastal Commission, the US Coast Guard and other government agencies are no longer valid.
“It’s the sad state of affairs right now,” said Brennan.
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