What with all the media attention big wave paddle surfing has been enjoying lately there's a real excitement in the air this year for the ever-growing crew of wild heavy water risk takers who continue to smash performance barriers. With all the elements coming together for the first time in three years, you'd be a fool to miss out on this Sunday's live webcast of the Mavericks Invitational. Invitees should include the following:

Matt Ambrose

Ryan Augenstein

Grant "Twiggy" Baker

Chris Bertish

Carlos Burle

Ken "Skindog" Collins

Shane Desmond

Shawn Dollar

Shane Dorian

Nathan Fletcher

Mark Healey

Rusty Long

Greg Long

Alex Martins

Peter Mel

Ryan Seelback

Kelly Slater

Tyler Smith

Jamie Sterling

Anthony Tashnick

Grant Washburn

Dave Wassel

Ben Wilkinson

Zach Wormhoudt

Official press release:

Contest organizers for the Mavericks Invitational 2012-2013 presented by GoPro, have confirmed that the world’s premier big wave surf contest will take place on Sunday, January 20, 2013 in Pillar Point, Half Moon Bay, CA.“The waves are going to be insane, the weather is going to be beautiful, and the level of surfing will break new ground," said Mavericks Invitational Contest Director Jeff Clark.This is the first time in three years that contest-worthy waves are headed to the

legendary surf break. Stormsurf forecaster Mark Sponsler stated, “This is looking like the best opportunity we’ve had in quite a few years with great conditions for running the contest."“This swell is going to offer huge waves and possibly perfect conditions. This is a very powerful swell, and we will have dramatic conditions that will push the competitors to their limits. Sunday is going to beautiful and very scary at times. I look forward to seeing plenty of glory rides," said competitor and surfers’ representative Shawn Dollar.

For public safety, local authorities from San Mateo County Sheriff, California Parks,

CHP, San Mateo County Harbor District and other participating agencies will close off all roads to Pillar Point, including access to the beach and bluffs.

In order to get the full experience of the contest, officials have organized the Mavericks Invitational Festival, an outdoor event to will be held on the grounds of the Oceano Hotel & Spa at Princeton Harbor, located on the road to Mavericks and across from Jeff Clark’s legendary Mavericks Surf Shop.

The Mavericks Invitational Festival starts at 8 a.m. just as the first heat of the contest starts. The festival will run all day with a live steam of all the contest action. Festival goers will enjoy a day of music, live commentary, food, the Sierra Nevada Beer Garden, Grind Out Hunger Skate Park, Mavericks Gallery of Photography, and an opportunity to mingle with competitors. As soon as the final heat is complete, all the action on the water will move to the Festival, where the surfers will gather for the Awards Ceremony. The event wraps up at sunset.

Tickets to the festival range from $10 for general admission, and go up to $1,000 for VIP passes. Tickets can also be purchased at the door on Sunday for $20, until the event is sold out. Fans can also watch the live webcast of the contest at www.MavericksInvitational.com.

Event parking is located at the Half Moon Bay Airport, within walking distance of the

Festival. Proceeds from the parking benefit the Boys & Girls Club of the Coastside.

Additionally, Bike Works Half Moon Bay is providing free bike valet. If you come to town for the day, parking along Highway 1 and in nearby neighborhoods will be closed. You can pay to park at the airport that day or buy your parking pass online.