Even though the formal Mavericks surf competition got scuttled this year, about a dozen well known big-wave surfers gathered yesterday to surf the break anyway, and one of them drowned. As the Santa Cruz Sentinel reports, 35-year-old Sion Milosky, an accomplished big-wave surfer who lived in Kauai, wiped out on a large wave (think: 60 feet), and then got held underwater by two consecutive waves at around 6:30 p.m..

Via a witness: "Milosky caught at least six waves before he fell when the lip of a wave he was riding collapsed on top of him...The fall happened during low tide, when the water depth at the break averaged 15-20 feet deep. The water pushed Milosky toward the bottom and his board 'tombstoned'... Another wave crashed over Milosky shortly after the first."

Jet skis went looking for him, and finally found his body at the mouth of Pillar Point Harbor, about a mile from the break. Rescue crews responded around 6:51 to Princeton-by-the-Sea and transported a lifeless Milosky to Seton Coastside Hospital in Moss Beach.

Milosky was named the North Shore Underground Surfer of the Year by Surfing magazine last month, and had used some of the prize money to travel to Mavericks for the last of the season's swells, which reached up to 80 feet this week.