A giant swell arriving on Oahu’s north shore this weekend will bring huge waves, but the surf won’t be large enough or consistent enough during the day to hold the Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau big wave surfing contest on Sunday.
“What we see is an inconsistent 20-foot swell with peak energy during Sunday night, and dropping after that,” said contest director George Downing in a news release. “We do not foresee the eight daylight hours of consistent 20- to 25-foot deep water swell (wave face heights of approximately 40 feet) that is the minimum requirement for this event to run.”
Organizers of the rare surf event notified big wave surfers that they were monitoring the potential of Sunday’s swell.
“The Eddie,” as the contest is sometimes callled, is only held when waves are consistently at 40 feet or more. The one-day event, open only to top big wave surfers who must be invited, has only been held eight times in 28 years.
The last Eddie was in 2009 and was won by Californian Greg Long.
It’s named after legendary Waimea lifeguard and big wave surfer Eddie Aikau, who died in 1978 after the voyaging canoe Hokule’a capsized and he swam away to get help.
It’s still possible the contest that the contest will happen in 2013. The holding period lasts until Feb. 28, 2013.
National Weather Service forecasters predict waves with faces of more than 25-feet, generated from a large storm in the North Pacific, will begin reaching Hawaii Saturday night and peak on Sunday.
Forecasters expect to issue a high surf warning on Saturday.
Meanwhile, a high surf warning for today’s current swell is downgraded to a high surf advisory.
The National Weather Service said the current swell peaked overnight. Waves today are expected to be about 12 to 16 feet on north shores and 8 to 12 feet on west shores.
The advisory is for north and west shores of Oahu, Kauai, Maui, Molokai and Niihau.