'The Eddie' is a no go as conditions change, organizers say

Jan. 10—The Eddie Aikau Big Wave Invitational event scheduled to be held Wednesday has been canceled due to changing conditions, dashing the hopes of dozens of the world's best surfers and thousands of Hawaii surf fans who were expected to flock to Waimea Bay.

Aikau's brother, Clyde Aikau, made the decision this morning to cancel Wednesday's event because of unfavorable wind conditions and swell changes, said Linda Ipsen, treasurer of the Eddie Aikau Foundation. Ipsen was married to Eddie Aikau for seven years before he died.

Clyde Aikau said wind conditions worsened overnight. Organizers are now looking at Jan. 22 as a possible date for the event.

The last run of the Eddie Aikau Big Wave Invitational was held on Feb. 25, 2016, which brought more than 1.2 million fans to the event's livestream from more than 200 countries. Hawaii's John John Florence won the 2016 contest, which was then called The Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau.

The competition has been held only nine times since its inception in 1984. The contest will only run if surf heights of the front wave consistently reach at least 20 feet in Hawaii-style measurements (40 feet faces) during the window between Dec. 14 to March 23.

The competition is named after Clyde Aikau's brother, the late, local big-wave legend and lifeguard Eddie Aikau.

According to the foundation, Eddie Aikau mastered 60- to 80-foot waves at Waimea Bay in 1967, and his 80-foot-wave ride held a record for 50 years until 2016.

In 2016, an estimated 50,000 people descended upon the North Shore to watch the tournament.