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Thursday, 14 February 2008

Will the Eddie Go?

Waimea Bay - With just 17 days of the three-month holding period for the Quiksilver Big Wave Invitational In Memory of Eddie Aikau remaining, the Pacific Ocean is bouncing back to life. A final flurry of big-wave action has begun to pulse through the Hawaiian Island chain with waves to approach giant heights later this week.

The Quiksilver Big Wave Invitational is staged each winter at Waimea Bay, on Oahu's North Shore, and only runs when and if wave heights reach a minimum of 20 feet on the Hawaiian wave scale (40-foot wave face heights). The event is held in honor of big-wave rider and Waimea Bay lifeguard Eddie Aikau.

Taking a radical shift from what has been the worst winter on record for waves in Hawaii, the tail end of February looks like being above average by comparison to other La Nina years.

Thursday's swell is forecast to reach 15 to 18-feet Hawaiian scale (wave face heights of 30-36 feet), still just a notch under "The Eddie" requirement of 20 feet Hawaiian (approximately 40-foot faces). If nothing else, it will be an exceptional warm-up day for big-wave riders, given ideal easterly winds that will fan Waimea Bay to offshore perfection.

Moving beyond Thursday's swell, wave forecasters are looking at regular big-wave episodes every two to three days. Each will be closely monitored for Quiksilver Big Wave potential. In the event that the right size swell is generated, 28 of the world's best big wave riders will make the journey to Waimea Bay's hallowed ground and ride the giant surf with the same spirit as Aikau.

source: surfers Village. Picture Brian Bielmann

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