SNN: Surf will reach 25′ this afternoon for top reefs. Just not in time for a full day of Eddie. The next slight chance looks like Saturday the 20th or Monday the 22nd.
Despite calling the event off before sunrise, a full crowd stayed on to watch surfers ride as the day’s swell slowly filled in. Waves were still not “Eddie” worthy.
WAIMEA BAY, Oahu/Hawaii (Wednesday, February 10, 2016) – Event Officials today called off the Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau after the highly anticipated swell failed to materialize. The window for “The Eddie” — a World Surf League (WSL) Specialty event — remains open until February 29, and upcoming swells will continue to be monitored with high hopes of running.
All trusted forecasters and data sources were in concurrence this week and pointed to what was shaping up to be an epic day of clear skies, light winds and gigantic surf. But some time after 6pm Tuesday night, the storm system took an unexpected turn. When the anticipated buoy readings never appeared, it was clear something had changed.
The urgency and hope to surf today was none stronger than for Eddie’s younger brother Clyde who, at 66, said this will be his last season in the event.
“That’s just the way it goes, I mean nobody knows what’s going to happen, you’re dealing with nature,” said Clyde Aikau, younger brother to Eddie.
“But it’s just humbling. When I drove up here at 9 o’clock last night, for miles it was already packed with people. People camping, cooking out… it was real humbling you know. And it gets me real excited to ride some really nice waves because you have the great support of all the people. Not only in Hawaii but around the world. It’s just so humbling that people still respect Eddie. To inspire the next generation is what Eddie’s legacy is all about and I’m so proud, and the family’s so proud.”
Throughout the night and early morning, more than 8,000 people filtered into Waimea Bay and its flanking hillsides to stake out the highly prized spectator real estate for this original one day, big wave competition. Even after the event was officially called off, many decided to stay and enjoy a pristine winter’s day and a dress rehearsal put on by the world’s best big wave riders as the swell slowly filled in.
“Unfortunately, the Bay is not going to call the day today,” Glen Moncata, Quiksilver Event Director, said. “This storm got pushed way up North of us so we are just not going to be able to run today.
“We have access to so much data these days and this just proves you can never second guess Mother Nature. Every forecaster thought this was the day. It isn’t. But we built this city in one day and we will do it again next week if we have to. We will not compromise on size or conditions.”
Requiring wave face heights of 40 feet plus to be called on, the Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau has only run eight times in the event’s 31-year history. With a very active El Niño swell season on offer, the potential for the event to run before February 29 remains high and each developing system will continue to be monitored.
The window for the Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau closes on February 29, 2016.
“Unfortunately, the Bay is not going to call the day today. The surf is not what we expected,” Glen Moncata, Quiksilver Event Director, said. “What we need is need eight hours of solid 20 foot surf, 40 foot faces, and unfortunately this storm got pushed way up North of us, so we are just not going to be able to run today.”
Requiring surf of 35-to-45 feet (on the wave face) to be called on, the Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau has only run eight times in the event’s 31-year history. With a very active El Nino swell season on offer, the potential for the event to run before February 29 remains high.
“As a competitor, it’s frustrating to get mentally and physically prepared to surf The Eddie and then be disappointed when it is called off,” said Peter Mel. “While it’s not a WSL Big Wave Tour (BWT) event, as Commissioner of that tour, I understand how challenging it can be to make those calls. Ultimately, The Bay calls the day for The Eddie and I respect the decision of Quiksilver Officials to call the event off due to lack of surf.”
The event’s namesake, Eddie Aikau, was the first lifeguard on Oahu’s famed North Shore. A true ambassador of Aloha, Aikau tragically lost his life in 1978 while attempting to rescue crewmates aboard the Hokule’a, a traditional Polynesian voyaging canoe that capsized in rough seas en route to Tahiti. The famed big wave event was created in his honor in 1984.
The Spirit lives on regardles that event organizers opted to call the Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau off for this NW after the projected swell failed to materialize on time. SNN.