SPORTS

After 6 Years Of Waiting, This Legendary Hawaii Surf Contest Is Back

"The Eddie," which requires perfect 40-foot waves, hasn't run since 2009.

"The Eddie" -- the oldest and "most prestigious big-wave competition in the world" -- is a go for Wednesday, Feb. 10.

If the conditions are as epic as they were two weeks ago, the contest will be full of triumph and carnage.

On Monday morning, organizers of the Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau contest gave the official green light, marking the first time it will run since December of 2009, when California surfer Greg Long was crowned the champion.

The one-day, invitation-only event is held at Waimea Bay on the famed North Shore of the Hawaiian island of Oahu.

It commemorates the life of Eddie Aikau, a legendary Hawaiian surfer and lifeguard who died heroically in 1978 while trying to save his fellow crew members after their boat, the Polynesian vessel Hokulea, capsized during a storm.

Surfers ride a wave during the 2009 Eddie Aikau Big Wave Invitational at Waimea Bay.
Surfers ride a wave during the 2009 Eddie Aikau Big Wave Invitational at Waimea Bay.

Running the contest requires massive waves and perfect conditions -- which is why it's only been held eight times since its inception in 1985.

Organizers said in a statement that they anticipate a solid day of surf on Wednesday that will meet the event's strict wave-face height requirement of 40 feet, with favorable light winds in the morning.

"It has taken us six years to pull the trigger, but this is the first swell we have seen that is truly lining up as an Eddie swell," event director Glen Moncata said in a release.

Daryl "Flea" Virotsko wipes out during the Eddie Aikau contest in 2004.
Daryl "Flea" Virotsko wipes out during the Eddie Aikau contest in 2004.

In 2009, The Eddie drew a record crowd of more than 30,000 and scored the most international media coverage of any surfing event in history, according to World Surf League.

The event's organizing team says it will continue to confer with event patriarch George Downing, who has made the final call on every event since its inception.

"As George has famously said, 'The Bay Calls the Day' and that will be Wednesday," Moncata said in a statement. 

Here's how some of the invitees reacted to the go-ahead announcement:

See the video below for more about the contest's format and judging:

 

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