The 2009-2010 Quiksilver Eddie Aikau contest at Waimea Bay was definitely one for the books. If you were lucky enough to be on the North Shore of Oahu, it truly was a spectacle to behold. Hype prior the event was unprecedented, and excellent web and television coverage during the event delivered the action to millions of people.
There were some anxious moments however, when the Northwest Kauai Buoy (Buoy 51001) looked to have peaked overnight, dropping from 22 feet to 16 feet in primary swell height by 2 a.m. Tuesday morning. At dawn Waimea was much smaller than its peak on Monday.
The swell was modeled to pulse again however, and at 7 a.m. Buoy 51001 had rebounded to 19.7 feet at 16 seconds. With about an 8-10 hour travel time to Waimea, this meant the afternoon heats would reap the benefits. In fact, both of the perfect 100-point scores occurred in the final heat of the day.
Taking advantage of the deteriorating morning conditions, Kelly Slater charged out to a big lead, managing to secure a few early bombs. By the second and third heats, the waves had dropped significantly, and it looked like Kelly would walk away with the victory. The swell continued to stall for a few hours, but by mid-afternoon the second pulse began to arrive.
Greg Long used the building surf to secure his win in the final heat, taking all four scores to edge Kelly by ten points. Ramon Navarro walked away with $10,000 for his Monster Drop, also in the final heat (full results are available here).
In the end, it was a gutsy, veteran call by George Downing to hold off on Monday and run the Eddie on Tuesday. The swell was a bit smaller, but Tuesday’s conditions were far superior. Congrats to all the contestants… Eddie went!