Surfers standing by for Mavericks contest on Friday

Jan. 23, 2014 at 1:11 PM

HALF MOON BAY, Calif., Jan. 23 (UPI) -- Forecasters said heavy surf was predicted to build along the Northern California coast Thursday for the annual Mavericks Invitational.

The National Weather Service issued a high-surf advisory for the area around Pillar Point in Half Moon Bay where swells were expected to top 20 feet by Thursday evening.

Organizers of the competition said in a written statement that waves up to 40 feet were possible on Friday, when a cadre of the world's leading big-wave surfers head out to the notorious Mavericks break.

Surf at the contest site was reaching 8-10 feet Thursday morning and rolling in at 8-second intervals.

Roads around Pillar Point were closed off Thursday. Spectators will be able to watch the action in video screens at a nearby resort hotel.

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