Waiting for "The Eddie"

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The winter months in Hawaii are when locals and surf enthusiasts from around the world begin watching the waves at Waimea Bay on Oahu in anticipation of the Quiksilver Big Wave Invitational in Memory of Eddie Aikau. Because the contest last only one day and requires that waves must exceed a height of 20 feet for the competition to take place, there have only been eight days of “The Eddie” in twenty-seven years. These strict guidelines help ensure that “The Eddie” provides an incomparable experience for surfers and spectators alike. Truly, it is like no other surf competition in the world.

“The Eddie” honors Hawaii native, Eddie Aikau – a champion surfer who was the City and County of Honolulu’s first lifeguard at Waimea Bay. There’s a local saying here in Hawaii that you may see on bumper stickers as you drive around the islands – it says simply “Eddie Would Go.” The phrase refers to Eddie’s willingness not only to take on the challenge of big waves that would deter other surfers, but also his commitment and courage to take on a rescue – even when it seemed impossible. Amazingly, not a single life was lost when Eddie was lifeguarding at Waimea Bay. Eddie was lost at sea in 1978 in an attempt to save the crew of the Polynesian Voyaging Society’s Hōkūleʻa after the canoe capsized in stormy weather. “The Eddie” honors Aikau’s memory by celebrating what he exemplified: the best of surfing and Hawaii. For more information about Eddie Aikau, please visit the Eddie Aikau Foundation website.

“The Eddie” takes place at beautiful Waimea Bay on the North Shore of Oahu – one of the top locations in the world for big wave surfing and a spot featured in the Lost television series and mentioned in The Beach Boys’ hit “Surfin’ USA.” Wide stretches of beach provide a great place to sunbathe and watch the surf. Pick up great snacks at Malama Market Haleiwa or at Foodland Pupukea (just down the road from Waimea Bay). For souvenirs, t-shirts, local gifts and more out on the North Shore, check out Lamonts and Kohala Bay Colllections – both at the Turtle Bay Resort.

“The Eddie” can take place anytime between now and February 29, 2012, so be sure to keep an eye on the waves or checkout the Quiksilver website for all the latest news.

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