Yellow Alert Called ON for Possible Start of “Eddie” on Thursday

February 22, 2016, 4:32 PM HST · Updated February 22, 4:32 PM
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A significant swell is bearing down on Oahu's North Shore prompting event organizers to put the Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau (a WSL Specialty event) on Yellow Alert for a possible start on Thursday. Image: WSL

A significant swell is bearing down on Oahu’s North Shore prompting event organizers to put the Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau (a WSL Specialty event) on Yellow Alert for a possible start on Thursday.
Image: WSL

Organizers of the Quicksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau big wave event today issued a Yellow Alert for a possible start on Thursday, Feb. 25 at Waimea Bay on Oʻahu.

A final determination on the status of the event will be made early Thursday morning to see if conditions hold for an anticipated 20- to 25-foot swell, and occasional face heights of 40- to 50-feet, organizers said.

Since the three month holding period began, organizers called the event ON once before, but cancelled the event on Feb. 10, when large surf did not materialize as hoped to meet minimum contest requirements.

With a large swell on the horizon, organizers are hoping to get the contest underway before the event window closes on Feb. 28, 2016.

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Event director Glen Moncata commented in an event press release saying, “These systems are very hard to predict so we will set up for the event, but we will not make the final call until Thursday morning. We don’t want to disappoint anybody and we will leave it up to the Bay to call the day on Thursday.”

The event has only run eight times in its storied 31-year history, the last time in December of 2008.

The WSL Specialty Event is a tribute to big wave surfer, and Waimea Bay lifeguard, Eddie Aikau.

It is named after the famed waterman who tragically lost his life in 1978 while attempting to rescue crewmates aboard the traditional Polynesian voyaging canoe, the Hōkūle’a, that capsized in rough seas en route to Tahiti. The big wave event was created in his honor in 1984.

Event organizers say this Thursday’s swell is the second of two giant back-to-back swells to hit Oʻahu’s North Shore this week. The first arrived this-morning in the 25- to 30-foot range.

According to an event announcement, the Eddie will be contested by 28 invitees, including defending Eddie winner and BWT current rankings’ leader Greg Long; Clyde Aikau, Eddie’s brother and winner of the second Eddie event; and 11-time World Champion and 2001/2002 Eddie winner Kelly Slater.

The Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau will be webcast LIVE at WorldSurfLeague.com as well as the WSL app. The event will also be carried by LIVE broadcast partners Oceanic Time Warner Cable 250 & 1250 in Hawaiʻi.

The Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau Heat Draw includes the following:

Round 1/Heat 1
Shane Dorian (HAW)
Kohl Christensen (HAW)
Greg Long (USA)
Ramon Navarro (CHL)
Sunny Garcia (HAW)
Ross Clarke-Jones (AUS)
Jamie Mitchell (AUS)

Round 1/Heat 2
Kelly Slater (USA)
David Wassell (HAW)
Grant Baker (ZAF)
Reef McIntosh (HAW)
Jamie O’Brien (HAW)
Aaron Gold (HAW)
Tom Carroll (AUS)

Round 1/Heat 3
John John Florence (HAW)
Mark Healey (HAW)
Clyde Aikau (HAW)
Nathan Fletcher (USA)
Noah Johnson (HAW)
Peter Mel (USA)
Takayuki Wakita (JPN)

Round 1/Heat 4
Bruce Irons (HAW)
Makua Rothman (HAW)
Ian Walsh (HAW)
Albee Layer (HAW)
Kala Alexander (HAW)
Garrett McNamara (HAW)
Jeremy Flores (FRA)

Round 2/Heat 1
Shane Dorian (HAW)
Kohl Christensen (HAW)
Greg Long (USA)
Reef McIntosh (HAW)
Jamie O’Brien (HAW)
Aaron Gold (HAW)
Tom Carroll (AUS)

Round 2/Heat 2
Kelly Slater (USA)
David Wassell (HAW)
Grant Baker (ZAF)
Ramon Navarro (CHL)
Sunny Garcia (HAW)
Ross Clarke-Jones (AUS)
Jamie Mitchell (AUS)

Round 2/Heat 3
John John Florence (HAW)
Mark Healey (HAW)
Clyde Aikau (HAW)
Albee Layer (HAW)
Kala Alexander (HAW)
Garrett McNamara (HAW)
Jeremy Flores (FRA)

Round 2/Heat 4
Bruce Irons (HAW)
Makua Rothman (HAW)
Ian Walsh (HAW)
Nathan Fletcher (USA)
Noah Johnson (HAW)
Peter Mel (USA)
Takayuki Wakita (JPN)

Alternates List
Mason Ho (HAW)
Danilo Couto (BRA)
Mark Mathews (AUS)
Koa Rothman (HAW)
Ben Wilkinson (AUS)
Jamie Sterling (AUS)
Billy Kemper (HAW)
Shawn Dollar (USA)
Carlos Burle (BRA)
Kealii Mamala (HAW)
Gabriel Villaran (USA)
Michael Ho (HAW)
Kai Lenny (HAW)
Kahea Hart (HAW)
Nathan Florence (HAW)
Damien Hobgood (USA)
Kalani Chapman (HAW)
Ryan Hipwood (AUS)
Danny Fuller (HAW)
Nic Lamb (USA)
Anthony Tashnick (HAW)
Rusty Long (HAW)
Derek Dunfee (USA)
Brock Little (HAW) – Honorable inclusion

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