Eddy vs. Eddie

The road to Waimea Bay, and the Waimea River. The Wife and I drove this road when we were there; I regret not stopping.

On a river, an eddy is a place of relative calm in swift-moving water formed by a large object like a rock; whitewater boaters will often find an eddy in the middle of a rapid and use it to grab a quick breath before resuming their descent. An eddy is a micro-destination along the course of a river or a rapid.

In Hawaii, there is no “an” eddy, there is The Eddie: a surfing competition held at Waimea Bay on the north shore of Oahu. The competition is only held when waves reach a certain height–“open ocean swells of 20 ft”–and that means that the competition has only been held ten times since its inception in 1985. The competition is named for Eddie Aikau, a legendary Hawaiian lifeguard and surfer who died in 1978 when he was lost at sea in a boating mishap.

The last time The Eddie was held was just last week, and here is video of the day’s activities. This is stunning stuff! I can’t stress enough that you need to watch this full-screen with the highest resolution you can manage with your bandwidth.

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