Barracuda Networks Withdraws Title Sponsorship of Maverick's

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Barracuda Networks, a tech company who also served as the official sponsor of The Jay at Maverick's Big Wave Invitational, announced through a press release that they were withdrawing all sponsorship and support for The Jay at Maverick's Big Wave Invitational.

The press release goes on to say that the The Half Moon Bay Surf Group, an organization formed to run The Jay at Maverick's Big Wave Invitational and comprised of Maverick's surfers, photographers, various other community individuals and members of Barracuda Networks, has officially disbanded. The Moriarity family has also decided to remove the use of Jay Moriarity's name for future contests.

"This was an emotional season, and everyone supports retiring Jay's name at the request of his family," Maverick's charger Grant Washburn, a longtime competitor at Maverick's who was one of the founding members of The Half Moon Bay Surf Group, told me this morning. "Surfers and organizers are thankful for the contributions of Barracuda to the event over the years, and respect their decision to redirect marketing. The waves didn't allow for an event this season, but we are all optimistic that Neptune will deliver next time around.

Executive vice president and CMO of Barracuda Networks Michael Perone issued a comment through the press release. "Unfortunately, discussions with officials surrounding plans for the 2011-2012 season were not progressing as we had hoped and very recently some Moriarity family members and their representatives have requested that we discontinue use of Jay's name for the event; we respect that decision," said Perone. "Barracuda Networks has decided to redirect our efforts and attention to other projects. We wish everyone involved in the event in the future the very best."

At this point the future of a contest at Maverick's remains very uncertain. Without a title sponsor to provide funding for all aspects of a contest, Maverick's could once again see itself without a contest, similar to the three-year hiatus forced when Quiksilver left as the title sponsor in 2001. With permits to hold a surf contest at Maverick's issued annually by the San Mateo County Harbor District, any organization could potentially make a move to become the new sponsor of a contest at Maverick's and run the operation.