The Surfers tournaments that will begin shortly had the top league ride colossal waves in Hawaii. Waimea Bay when surging with waves over 20 feet calls surfers to participate in the big events in Hawaii. The competition is in memorial of Eddie Aikau who was a surfing champion and lost in the sea in the year 1978.
The fast approaching Pacific storm which causes waves to rise as high as 35-50 feet has hopes high that this years competition will be epic.
The Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau event is only held when waves in Waimea Bay top 20 feet, which hasn’t happened since 2009. Waimea only gets huge swells in the winter, so organizers block out a three-month window from December to February and hope for a Pacific storm.
They got their wish this year — with just days to spare.
A Pacific storm with hurricane-force winds north of Hawaii is churning up powerful swells. Surfline.com forecaster Jonathan Warren said Waimea Bay could see waves of 35 to 50 feet.
Organizers had hoped to run the event earlier this month, but had to cancel when the surf was lower than expected.
Only 28 of the world’s best big-wave surfers were invited to compete, including American Greg Long, who won the competition in 2009.
Aikau was a legendary big-wave surfer and the first official lifeguard on Oahu’s North Shore. He was lost at sea in 1978, after volunteering to go for help when a canoe trip seeking to recreate an ancient Polynesian migration hit bad weather.
The memorial competition was held for the first time in 1984 and Aikau’s younger brother Clyde won the second time it was held, in 1986-87.
Clyde Aikau thanked the crowd before the competition and was thrilled with the surf conditions.
“Today has to be one of the best days I’ve seen in 40 years,” he said.
The 66-year-old paddled out later in the day to compete in his final Eddie before retiring.
The huge waves and fickle nature of the competition have made it a popular event with surfers and locals. Some fans camped out on the beach or slept in their cars to get a good spot, and the roads were crowded in the predawn hours.
Pro surfer Grant ‘Twiggy’ Baker freefalls down the face of an enormous wave at the Eddie Aikau surf contest at Waimea Bay, Hawaii. The South African later redeemed himself, taking out one of the highest scores of the day. The event is held in honour of one of the legendary big wave rider Eddie Aikau who died in 1978