One of the world’s most prestigious surfing competitions returns to Hawaii this weekend for the first time in seven years.
The competition, which saw female surfers competing alongside men for the first time, was greeted with huge waves and a huge swell.
The Eddy Ekau Big Wave Invitational – alternatively known as The Eddy – is a one-day competition held at Waimea Bay on the North Shore of Oahu, when the surf is consistent during the winter big-wave surfing season from mid to late December. Gets big enough. -march.
The direction of the wind, tide and tide should also be correct.
“Significantly large” means 20 feet (6 m) from the aerial measurement. This is equivalent to approximately 40 feet (12 m) when measured by the methods used in the rest of the United States. Prior to this year, conditions have only aligned for it to be held nine times since the initial competition in 1984.
Organizer Clyde Aikau said at a news conference on Friday that he was expecting waves to reach 25 to 30 feet (7.6 to nine meters) by aerial measurements or 50 to 60 feet (15 to 18 meters) nationally – and The conditions were meeting the expectations.
“We’re seeing 30-foot to 40-foot wave faces for the most part, (and) the biggest waves of the day are going to be over 45 feet. By the local scale, they’ll call those waves 25 feet — and we’ve already Have only seen a few sets like this,” Kevin Wallis, director of forecasting at Surfline.com, said by phone Sunday morning.
“It’s amazing, it’s really cool to see and it’s a rare and prestigious event, and certainly a lot of energy and a lot of buzz,” he said.
Big wave surfing events take place in other locations around the world: Mavericks in California, Nazaré in Portugal and Pehi on the island of Maui in Hawaii. But author Stuart Coleman says that Eddie is set apart by how he honors Eddie Ekau, a legendary Native Hawaiian waterman for his selflessness, courage and sacrifice.
“What makes this contest most unique is that it is in memory of a special person who truly transcended his time and place,” said Coleman, who wrote Aikau’s biography “Eddie Will Go.”
This year the organizers have invited 40 competitors and 18 alternates from around the world, including Kelly Slater, who has won a record 11 world surfing titles. John John Florence, who hails from the North Shore and has won two back-to-back world titles, has also been asked to join.
Women’s big wave surf champion Keala Keneally of Kauai is among the female invitees.