'Eddie' big-wave surf competition on standby for Thursday

'Eddie' big-wave surf competition on standby for Thursday
(Image: Quiksilver)
(Image: Quiksilver)

WAIMEA BAY, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The largest swell of the season is currently pounding Oahu's north-facing shores, but organizers of the most elite big wave surf competition in the world have their eyes on the next big swell on the horizon.

Forecasters at the National Weather Service expect a second warning-level swell to roll in from the northwest starting late Wednesday and continuing through Thursday.

The exact timing of the swell's arrival and peak is still uncertain, but organizers of the Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau invitational are optimistic that it may be enough to run the competition on Thursday.

The contest is currently on "yellow alert" for Feb. 25 -- a standby mode meaning that conditions may arrive that are good enough to run the surf contest.

The big wave invitational runs when there are consistent waves of at least 30 feet in Waimea Bay and can only occur during the contest's three-month winter holding period. As a result, the Eddie has only run eight times since beginning 31 years ago, running most recently in 2009.

The holding period for this season ends Feb. 29.

Ahead of the contest, the state has alerted drivers that parking will be restricted along Kamehameha Highway. The state said no parking will be allowed on either side of Kamehameha Highway from Iliohu Place to Saints Peter & Paul Mission from Wednesday at 10 p.m. through the duration of the tournament.

Temporary barriers will be placed along the highway to prevent parking and allow safe pedestrian access.

Police will enforce the new parking restrictions.

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