Who could have guessed that on December 4th, as a privileged group joined in a sacred prayer circle adjacent to a replica of the ancient double hulled sailing canoe that started the whole Eddie Aikau legend, in perfectly flat water without hardly even a curl, that the ocean would turn in only four days from completely flat to some of the biggest waves in recorded history. Most likely only the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the ever hopeful surf professionals that follow this event every year.
Waves over 20 feet (Hawaiian Measure), which means faces of up to 40 feet, are required in order to hold the Eddie Aikau event. The event has only had waves of such measure 7 times in the past 25 years, making it one of the most exclusive and elusive trophies in surfing history.
Record crowds turned out and clogged the only road in and out for miles. Anticipation was high. (The best place to be was Turtle Bay…only a few mile away from the event). Covered on ESPN, FUEL TV, at www.quiksilver.com and on local Hawaiian cable channels, the world watched the best surfers in the world take on some of the toughest waves in the world.
The final results: 1st Greg Long (surfing a monster below right, credit: Cestari/ASP); 2nd Kelly Slater (dropping in the wave above left); 3rd Sunny Garcia; 4th Bruce Irons and 5th, who also won the Monster Energy Drop award for the biggest drop of the day, Ramon Navarro.
Its been 5 years since the last event, who knows how long until the next one since it is dependent on monster waves. But not to worry. The Vans Triple Crown of Surfing is moving on to Pipeline…so we still have some of the best surfing in the world yet to come this year!