Friday, February 26, 2016

EDDIE WOULD GO - Thursday February 25, 2016

Eddie Aikau was a legendary lifeguard and big wave surfer on Oahu, Hawaii's famed North Shore. He died in March 1978 as a crew member on a replica of a Polynesian double hulled canoe that was following a 2500 mile ancient route between the Hawaiian and Tahitian island chains. The canoe had capsized and Eddie set off to get help. His body was never seen again.

In Aikau's honor, the surfwear company Quiksilver sponsors the “The Eddie”—the Quiksilver Big Wave Invitational in Memory of Eddie Aikau at Waimea Bay. It started in 1985 and has only been run 9 times since then as the required big wave conditions are rarely met.

The conditions were met this week and 28 surfers from around the world participated, by invitation only. Even Eddie Aikau's younger brother Clyde, aged 66 was out there competing aggressively, in his final competition, inspiring everyone. Waves between 30 and 50' provided for one of the most challenging competitions ever held. Watching this competition was surreal. The surfers and the Sea Do rescue teams are all risking their lives, putting themselves in harms way the whole time they are on the water. While a "win" is important, most are involved simply for the love of of big wave surfing and to honour the memory of Eddie Aikau.

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