WAIMEA BAY, Oahu/Hawaii – George Downing, Contest Director of The Quiksilver In Memory of Eddie Aikau, Fueled by Monster Energy, has put the legendary surf contest on hold for now. Downing called a “NO GO” for competition at Waimea Bay today, based upon the inconsistency of the swell. While there were definitely 20-foot-plus waves sporadically throughout the morning, the consistency of those large waves was deemed to be insufficient to run the two rounds of competition. The event still has until February 28 to run. “What we see in conditions like this is just one or two true ‘Eddie’ size waves in the period of a heat,” said Downing. “With seven surfers in the water per heat, that is not the kind of playing field we need for quality, fair competition. “It’s very easy to get caught up in the excitement when those huge waves come through and after all of the efforts of the crew and the spectators to be ready for this day. But what keeps this event the greatest big wave event in the world is never relaxing those standards. Eddie never did. “We will continue to wait. The holding period runs through February 28 and we know that there is definite potential in the coming weeks for bigger large surf to arise. If that day comes, we will be ready to go again.”
The 15,000-strong crowd that had gathered under moonlight since the very early hours of the morning understood the call and settled in for the day, regardless. With the world’s best big wave riders making the most of the opportunity to put some time in at Waimea, they will be treated to spectacular rides throughout the day, without question. 2002 Eddie winner and 10X world champion Kelly Slater was in firm agreement with the decision: “It’s a good call,” said Slater. “There are big waves out there, but there’s not that many of them. It’s not what we need.”
The Quiksilver In Memory of Eddie Aikau is the world’s longest running and most prestigious big-wave invitational and is the only one sanctioned by the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP), the governing body of professional surfing.