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Huge swell builds on North Shore

  • VINCE CAVATAIO / SPECIAL TO THE STAR-ADVERTISER
    Waves are expected to reach 20 to 30 feet by Tuesday afternoon at Waimea Bay.
  • VINCE CAVATAIO / SPECIAL TO THE STAR-ADVERTISER
    A surfer takes off on a wave at Waimea Bay Tuesday morning.
  • VINCE CAVATAIO / SPECIAL TO THE STAR-ADVERTISER
    Two surfers share a wave at Waimea Bay Tuesday morning.
  • VINCE CAVATAIO / SPECIAL TO THE STAR-ADVERTISER
    A surfer catches a wave as a swell builds at Waimea Bay Tuesday morning.
  • VINCE CAVATAIO / SPECIAL TO THE STAR-ADVERTISER
    A surfer tries to paddle out over a wave as another surfer makes a bottom turn and a third surfer drops in at Waimea Bay Tuesday morning.
  • TERENCE REIS / SPECIAL TO THE STAR-ADVERTISER
    In this series of three photos, a surfer takes off on a wave at Sunset Beach Tuesday and wipes out.

  • In this series of three photos, a surfer takes off on a wave at Sunset Beach Tuesday and wipes out.

  • In this series of three photos, a surfer takes off on a wave at Sunset Beach Tuesday and wipes out.
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Surf continued to build on Oahu’s North Shore Tuesday evening as the first big winter swell of the season arrived, likely touching off the start of the Reef Hawaiian Pro surfing contest Wednesday in Haleiwa.

Wave heights of 20 to 30 feet are expected by this evening from a storm that hit the Aleutian Islands over the weekend.

Organizers of the Reef Hawaiian Pro at Haleiwa said a decision will be made at 7 a.m. whether to hold the event. The slow-fading waves means the event could run four consecutive days and crown a champion Saturday, officials said.

A high surf warning is in effect until 6 p.m. Wednesday for north and west shores of Oahu, Kauai County and Molokai; and north shores of Maui. North shores of the Big Island are under a high surf advisory.

Surf along north facing shores was expected to peak Tuesday night, then decrease to 15 to 25 feet Wednesday. West shores will should see surf at 12 to 20 feet overnight Tuesday, decreasing to 10 to 14 feet Wednesday.

A swell was expected to continue through the weekend, although not at warning levels.

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