Click on the right arrow below or click here to view the images from the 2009/2010 Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau big-wave surfing competition.
After 25 years with most of those spent waiting, Waimea Bay delivered an event of legendary proportions on December 8, 2009 at the Quiksilver In Memory of Eddie Aikau. It was 25 years to the day since the first “Eddie” was held and waves of up to 50 feet poured in to Oahu’s North Shore as if on cue. With younger brother Clyde still in the lineup, at age 60, joined by the contemporary top guns of big wave riding, a packed arena celebrated every gutsy ride in brilliant sunshine befitting of a tribute to local hero Eddie Aikau.
When all was said and done, it was California’s Greg Long, 26, (from San Clemente) who made a late charge in the final heat of the day to claim the $55,000 winner’s purse. Long committed to an unbelievable never-say-die attack, securing all four of his top scores - several of them death-defying and one of them a perfect 100-point ride, in macking 40- to 50-foot waves. It was the high point of his career to-date - pretty incredible given that he only rode Waimea for the first time earlier that week.
The call to wait for this day and the ensuing result was mind-boggling, especially since many were questioning not running the event the day before in 40-foot surf. By afternoon, all concerned were stunned that 79-year-old contest director and big wave icon George Downing had kept his cool so well and timed it perfectly for a second peak in swell energy. Those 48 hours of massive surf, on December 7th and 8th, 2009, were the largest sustained episode to hit the Hawaiian Islands in 40 years.
From the moment the event was declared “on” at dawn, to the final gut-wrenching wipeouts that came with the peaking swell of afternoon, the air was filled with salt spray and adrenaline. Not a square foot of sand or lava rock was empty as a capacity crowd of over 50,000 packed the natural amphitheater of Waimea Bay to experience the pairing of Mother Nature and the men who ride her mountainous surf.
The insane wipeouts that dropped like dominoes, the hairball air drops and perfect scores, the 28 surfers of the event who put their lives on the line in honor of Aikau today - it all made for the greatest day of the Quiksilver In Memory of Eddie Aikau’s history. - From the Quiksilver Eddie Aikau Website
A Gallery of images shot during the 2009/2010 Quiksilver in memory of Eddie Aikau big-wave surfing competition.