The Latest: Hawaii's big wave surf competition called off

AP News
|
Posted: Feb 10, 2016 12:41 PM
The Latest: Hawaii's big wave surf competition called off

HALEIWA, Hawaii (AP) — The Latest on 'The Eddie' big wave competition (all times local):

7:30 a.m.

A spokeswoman for Hawaii's big wave surf competition says organizers have called off the event because the waves are too small.

The competition was last held six years ago, when swells met organizers' strict minimums. Spokeswoman Jodi Wilmott said Wednesday morning that the waves fell short of their forecasts.

The Quiksilver In Memory of Eddie Aikau event began in 1984, but there have only been eight times conditions have been ripe for the competition.

Aikau is a Native Hawaiian surfer famous for riding monster waves and saving hundreds of lives as Waimea Bay's first official lifeguard.

The swell approaching the islands this week is being fueled in part by ongoing El Nino conditions, but the 40-foot-tall waves failed to materialize by Wednesday morning.

___

12 a.m.

The wait is over for a select group of big-wave surfers as "The Eddie" big-wave competition is set to get underway at Oahu's Waimea Bay.

For the first time in six years, the surf conditions on Wednesday are expected to meet the organizers' strict minimum requirements, with wave heights around 40 feet high.

According to organizers, however, the event is about more than just surfing.

Native Hawaiian Eddie Aikau, one of the best big-wave surfers of his time, is credited with saving hundreds of lives as Waimea Bay's first lifeguard. According to organizers, there were no fatalities under Aikau's watch.

However, Aikau died in 1978 after leaving a group of men in search of help when their traditional canoe capsized in rough seas off Hawaii. Aikau was never found, but the rest of the crew was later rescued.