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Old Jan 11, 2010, 11:44 PM   #1
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Default The Eddie Aikau Surfing tournament

The Eddie Aikau surfing tournament is held in Hawaii only when waves exceed 25+ feet consistently and are of the right shape for surfing.
After a pause of four years the conditions were just right last December at Waimea Bay on the North shore of Oahu, Hawaii.

The following sequence of photos was taken with a Sony A700 using a Tamron 18-250mm. The action was approximately 100 yards or so off the beach thus at the upper end of the Tamron's capaiblities. Even with this handicap the photos show the relative size of the waves and snapshot of the skilled surfers taking the ultimate surfing ride.

Because of the dangerous conditions, the beaches are emptied of all other folks except for the invited contestants and supporting crew and safety personnel. Unlike surfing at Jaws (Maui) where the waves reach 40+ feet the contestants swim out to the take off point amidst the booming waves. Jaws participants are towed.

The full set of photos can be seen at:

Here are a few photos from the event.

On a normal day this is what the Bay looks like

Some serious kick ass waves start forming

And then the tournament everyone has been waiting for.

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Old Jan 18, 2010, 3:32 PM   #2
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Cool shots! You were pushing that 18-250 to the limits. (BTW, I love that lens so much I bought a second one.)

So, who won?
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Old Jan 18, 2010, 3:38 PM   #3
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What a lovely little beach there - during the calm. Those guys and girls sure have some skill and courage to get out there in those conditions. I have never seen waves that big except in photos and tv. Hopefully, some day I will get the chance. If the waves ever get that high on our beaches here in the Carolinas I want to be many miles inland.

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Old Jan 18, 2010, 7:36 PM   #4
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Mice images I wonder if anyone had to be rescued? I am involved in swift water rescues at times and its not fun. Nice work with that lens.

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Old Jan 18, 2010, 11:42 PM   #5
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Very nice shots, Selvin. We very seldom see such huge waves here in Huntington Beach.
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Old Jan 19, 2010, 10:45 AM   #6
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Such waves! You captured the ocean dangerous feeling pretty well.
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Old Jan 21, 2010, 1:56 AM   #7
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Folks, thank you for your gracious comments.

rfortson, Yes, I have also fallen in love with the Tamron.
The winner was Greg Long of California, runners up were Kelly Slater and Sonny Garcia, both legends of surfing.


I can assure there are many even here in the islands would agree with you. Head inland when they get that large. But, there are those who get a rush riding the big ones.


During the explosion of high waevs no one is allowed on the beach except for the 24 invitees There were no rescues necessary duirng the tournament. Howveer, for several days surrounding the tournament, a number of individuals were dragged rfom the high surf. They obviously either over estimated their abilities or underestimated the size of the waves. Go figure.

They had another burst of 40+ ft waves again but the "Eddie" is held only once per year conditions permitting.

Thanks for your observation.

Aloha all.
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Old Feb 8, 2010, 1:42 AM   #8
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I'm ultra jealous of you! I was there that week, but I was stuck in the traffic in a tour bus, and could only snap a few pictures from the highway through the window I absolutely love your state, such an amazingly beautiful place, and everywhere you turn is an incredible photo waiting to be taken!
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