2009 Quiksilver In Memory of Eddie Aikau

Contestants of the Quiksilver In Memory of Eddie Aikau, fueled by Monster Energy, were calling the waves at Waimea Bay today bigger than any contested the past three times this event ran.

But organizers opted to employ patience and wait for tomorrow as surface conditions are forecast to improve with wave size continuing in the giant range. Wave face heights were in the 25- to 40-foot range today and rising. It made for a dramatic warm-up that thousands flocked to the North Shore of Oahu to witness.

The single lane highway that runs the stretch of the North Shore was bumper-to-bumper by sunrise. Many made the pilgrimage on foot and bicycle late last night, sleeping under the stars to catch the action early.

The invitees to the Quiksilver In Memory of Eddie Aikau weren't far behind them and headed out at dawn into the salt-spray, mist-filled lineup in search of the "big one".

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2009 Quiksilver In Memory of Eddie Aikau

In statements fitting of the 25th anniversary of The Quiksilver In Memory of Eddie Aikau, fueled by Monster Energy, Contest Director George Downing and Aikau's brother Clyde stunned the gathered audience when they announced that the event would run within the week.

All forecasts point towards one of the largest swells to hit Hawaii in decades. The Quiksilver In Memory of Eddie Aikau is an ASP specialty sanctioned event.

"Seven, eight or nine," said Downing to an initially bewildered crowd. "It's gonna happen one of those days." Downing was referring to Monday, December 7, or Tuesday the 8th or Wednesday the 9th.

The ceremony was an overwhelming tribute, complete with the original Hokule'a voyaging canoe in Waimea Bay in the midst of a 15- to 18-foot swell.

The Hokule'a is a symbol of great Hawaiian pride; a traditional double-hulled vessel that represents the original Polynesian voyage to the Hawaiian islands. It is also the same boat from which Aikau paddled for assistance in 1978, never to be seen again. Hokule’a had capsized in heavy seas in the Moloka'i Channel, injuring crew, en-route to Tahiti.

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Kelly Slater is testing asymmetrical surfboards shaped at Channel Islands

What has Kelly Slater been up to this past week?

He’s been busy. He revisited Todos Santos for the first time in 18 years and rode a brand new 5′6” in well overhead conditions.

He scored a ten second barrel on a 5′6” MTF at Rincon.

The last few days he’s been in the CI Factory shaping room experimenting with concave decks with beveled rails on the underside– similar to what Gerr used to mess around with.

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