Lots of action at 'Eddie' despite contest being canceled - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Lots of action at 'Eddie' despite contest being canceled

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Thousands of spectators camped out in the darkness. Surfers hit the waves under the light of the silvery moon. Everyone was anxious for a big day at Waimea Bay.

"I'm freaking out right now. I've just seen a really big set. I'm thinking about waxing up my board and getting ready for my heat," said contestant Jamie O'Brien.

People kept packing in on shore and along the rim of the bay.

"It's my dream to see the Eddie go off," said Swedish visitor Johanna Gustin.

The new city planned shuttle service helped alleviate the usual traffic buildup, getting folks to the bay faster. New pedestrian barriers were also put up to keep people safe. Everything was set, but the 20-foot waves were too inconsistent for all 28 competitors to have plenty of rides.

"They have a one-day permit, and we just waited for the official call, and it was off, but the anticipation was definitely there for it to run today," said contestant Makuakai Rothman.

"It's exciting when it's gonna happen. I was flying in from outer islands and everyone was, 'Oh, Eddie tomorrow.' It's like a big thing for the community and the islands. I wished it had gone, but it needed to be a little bigger," said contestant Kelly Slater.

Even though the Eddie was a no go, Slater greeted fans and paddled out for a ride. So did Aussie legend Tom Carroll.

"It's a beautiful day, I wouldn't want to be anywhere else. It's all good," said spectator Mathew Tekavec.

Hawaiian Water Patrol stuck around to watch out for surfers in trouble. One man came out of the water bleeding, and was taken to the hospital for treatment.

"He got caught outside, whether a board or skag hit him.He had a gash that needed to be stitched up," said Mel Puu of Hawaiian Water Patrol.

No major problems were reported, and with the improved coordination between the city and county and Quiksilver organizers, the next Eddie should be even better.

"It'll happen. I mean, there's another six weeks of an active winter pattern. I think chances are fair they'll have it this winter at some point. We'll just have to wait and see," said Victor DeJesus of the National Weather Service.

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