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'Eddie' big wave surf competition is a 'no-go'

By Craig Gima

POSTED: 12:23 p.m. HST, Jan 20, 2014

Organizers of the Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau big wave surfing competition say the event is a 'no-go" even though the biggest swell in a decade is forecast to arrive on Wednesday.

"We have taken all the time we can to assess the developments of the next big swell and it does not look favorable for us," said event organizer Glen Moncata. "The size is there, but the quality is not, due to strong, adverse winds. We will continue to wait for the right conditions."

The swell will start building today and should peak Wednesday morning with waves of 40 to 50 feet. But a cold front is also expected to move over Oahu tonight and Wednesday, bringing unfavorable winds and rain.

Contestants, who fly in from around the world to participate in invitation-only contest, must be notified about the contest, which is why the decision had to be made today on whether the contest will be held.

The National Weather Service says the cold front is expected to arrive tonight and could bring northwest winds of 20 to 25 mph, with higher gusts, and heavy rains through Wednesday morning.

The Quiksilver In Memory of Eddie Aikau is a one-day big wave event requiring wave-face heights of around 40 feet (20-foot Hawaiian-style measurements). The event was last held on Dec. 8, 2009, and has only been held a total of eight times in its 29-year history. It is only held when wave heights and surf conditions meet contest standards.

The holding period for the contest runs until the end of February.

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