Holding period for 'The Eddie' surf tournament begins Saturday - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Holding period for 'The Eddie' surf tournament begins Saturday

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

The three-month holding period for the Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau surf tournament, also known as "The Eddie," is scheduled to begin on Saturday, and friends, family and participating surfers will gather at Waimea Bay on Thursday for the event's opening ceremony.

The big wave contest was last held in 2009.

"I like to feel and know that we're really all on one level and that we're all out to ride the biggest waves that pull through Waimea Bay on the day that we have the event," says Clyde Aikau, Eddie's brother, who leads the paddle out each winter.

The holding period for "The Eddie" will commence on Saturday and run through February 28, 2013. According to organizers, the event "requires one day of quality waves in the giant range of 20 feet or more. Waves of this size are only generated occasionally by hurricane force winds from intense storms in the Pacific NW."

Several other factors, including elements like wind, swell height and the time it arrives, must be in perfect alignment to allow a full eight hours of daytime competition.

Because of the unusual requirements, the tournament has only been held eight time since 1984. 

The 28 surfers who have been invited to participate in the contest this year are scheduled to attend the opening ceremony, including newly elected riders John John Florence and Ian Walsh of Hawaii and former "Eddie" champions Kelly Slater, Greg Long and Ross Clarke-Jones.

Copyright 2012 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.

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