Surf fans across the globe eagerly awoke this morning expecting to be able to watch the Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau invitational big-wave surfing contest. Unfortunately, all of that excitement quickly dissipated when organizers on Hawaii’s North Shore decided to call off the contest at the last minute this morning.
“Unfortunately, the bay is not gonna call today the day,” Quiksilver Event Coordinator Glen Moncata said in an interview (above). “The surf is not what we expected. What we need is eight hours of 20-foot surf and 40-foot faces, and unfortunately, this storm got pushed way up north of us and is heading more towards California.”
Had Waimea Bay delivered with the surf necessary, today would have been only the ninth time in the 31-year history of the Eddie (and the first time since 2009) that the event took place. While Moncata was clearly sad to see the event be called off, he was hopeful that the Pacific Ocean would deliver a storm before Feb. 29 (the end of the window during which the Eddie can take place) and allow the Eddie to run.
“Hopefully we have a couple more storms out there in the Pacific,” said Moncata. “So who knows, next week we might set up again and you might see us out here again.”
More than anything, though, Moncata was happy to see that the legend of Eddie Aikau, and what he meant to the local culture, was still alive and well in Hawaii.
“I came in this morning about 3:00 a.m. and people were already trucking in,” Moncata said. “When we finally opened at about 4:45 a.m., this beach filled up, there has to be 15,000-plus people waiting to see this. You know, it’s one of the biggest days in Hawaii because all the kids get out of school to come see it.”
That sentiment was shared by Clyde Aikau, Eddie’s younger brother, who took to Instagram to thank everyone who had made the trek to Waimea Bay to take in the contest:
Clyde’s amusement at the massive crowds was shared by from Jeremy Flores who shared a photo describing the beach as looking like Woodstock:
And while locals were sad to see the Eddie called off, at least one responded with humor, musing about the amount of people who had probably called out of work / school to get there:
Thousands of sick employees are now magically healed so a sick day does not need to be burned #EddieWouldGo
— Fake 808 Sports (@Fake808SPORTS) February 10, 2016
EDITOR'S NOTE, 2/25/16, 8:35 p.m.: A previous version of this story said incorrectly that if the contest had run, it would be the eighth time in history. It would have been the ninth time in the contest’s history that it ran.
More from GrindTV