- Quiksilver Big Wave Invitational
The Quiksilver Big Wave Invitational in Memory of Eddie Aikau—known as The Eddiecite web |url= http://www.celebratehiltonhead.com/article/499/it-could-be-worse-eddie-aikua |title= It Could Be Worse: Eddie Aikua |author= Craig Hysell |work= Celebrate Hilton Head website |quote= ] — is a
surfingtournament held at Waimea Bayon the north shore of Oahu, Hawaii. Created in 1985and named after famed Waimea Bay lifeguard Eddie Aikau, the irregularly-held tournament is known for a unique requirement that waves reach a minimum height of 20 feet (based on open-ocean swells, the preferred method of Hawaiian wave measurement) before the competition can be held. As a result of this requirement, the tournament has only been held seven times during the 22-year history of the event, the last time in 2004. Eddie Aikau's brother Clyde Aikau won the first Eddie in 1985.
Each year, 24 surfers, chosen by polling among their peers, are invited to Waimea Bay to participate in the event. The tournament holding period is between December 1 and February 28. Each day, surf conditions, ocean swells, weather forecasts are monitored. Open-ocean swells in Waimea Bay must be forecast to reach a minimum of 20 feet during a single day during the tournament window. (Open-ocean swells of 20 feet usually translate to face heights of 30-40 feet.) The tournament director makes the decision as to whether to open the tournament if the conditions are right. In the words of longtime director George Downing, "the Bay calls the day."
Should the tournament be opened, the participants have a 12-hour window to register. Participants will compete in two rounds of about three or four waves each during the competition day, which is generally from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Their four best scoring waves over two rounds will make up their total score.
Participants are not allowed to use personal watercraft to tow themselves into the waves; they must paddle out into the waves entirely under their own power.
If the minimum conditions are not met during the tournament period, the event is not held that year, and the process repeats itself the following December.
* [http://www.quiksilver.com/frames/bigwaveinvitational0607.aspx Official site]
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