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Eddie Aikau memorial surfing contest's opening ceremony is today

December 4, 2008 |  7:30 am

Bruce Irons negotiates a bottom turn on a massive Waimea Bay wave en route to a triumph in the 2004/05 Eddie Aikau memorial contest.

The big-wave surfing season is off to a rollicking start.

There have been monstrous waves for the O'Neill World Cup, part of the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing, still in progress at Sunset Beach on Oahu's North Shore.

There was a gigantic swell over the Thanksgiving weekend at Mavericks near Half Moon Bay in Central California.

And a ferocious new swell is expected today in Hawaii, and the timing is interesting in that today also marks the opening ceremony of the Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau contest at Waimea Bay on the North Shore.

Wave faces of 25 to 30 feet are forecast for the ceremonial paddle-out of an event that is held only if wave faces measure 40 feet or higher.

The "Eddie" was last held in 2004 and won by Kauai's Bruce Irons (see photo), who is among those hopeful that contest organizers will give the event a green light this season.

The contest window closes Feb. 28, and Outposts is hardly going out on a limb by predicting the event will be held. Mother Nature has already signaled it is ready to rumble.

—Pete Thomas

Photo: Bruce Irons negotiates a bottom turn on a massive Waimea Bay wave en route to a triumph in the 2004/05 Eddie Aikau memorial contest.

Credit: Quiksilver/Joli

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