Eddie Aikau Contest 2009: Hawaii's Surfing Contest at Waimea Bay
The 2009 Eddie Aikau contest is held today at Waimea Bay, Hawaii. This is the 8th Quiksilver In Memory of Eddie Aikau big wave surfing contest; the last one was in 2004. The wave is massive today, reaching 35-45 feet at 8 am, and could go as high as 50 feet (15 meters) in the afternoon.
You can watch the Eddie Aikau contest live on the official website.
The Eddie Aikau contest can run only when the wave is consistently over 40 feet high at Waimea Bay. The contest started in 1985, named after the famed Waimea Bay lifeguard Eddie Aikau.
The contest is expected to run throughout the day. Only 28 surfers are invited to compete in the event, and there are no eliminations.
Each surfer will get to surf in two separate one-hour heats — once in the morning, then once in the afternoon.
Eddie Aikau, full name Edward Ryan Makua Hanai Aikau, was the iconic Hawaiian lifeguard and surfer. Born in 1946, Eddie Aikau was the first lifeguard hired by the City & County of Honolulu to cover the beaches between Sunset and Haleiwa.
Not one life was lost while he served as lifeguard of Waimea Bay, as he braved waves that often reached 30 feet (9.1 m) high or more. In 1971, Aikau was named Lifeguard of the Year.
At age 31, Aikau was lost at sea in a rescue attempt in 1978.