Monster waves make way for rare surfing competition

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Thursday, December 10, 2009

Massive waves pounded the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii Tuesday, allowing for a rare surfing competition to take place.

A competitor surfs on a massive wave during the rare competition
Image: flickr.
(Image missing from Commons: image; log)

The contest is known as the Eddie Aikau competition, named after a noted Hawaiian surfer who was lost at sea during the 1970s. It has only taken place eight times in the past 25 years.

Tens of thousands of spectators from across the state gathered to watch 28 expert surfers tackle the 40-foot waves. Competitor Jamie O'Brien said, "We were all stoked out there, smiling, laughing and having a good time." He added, "This is like a natural arena out here for this and it's amazing to be a part of it."

The monstrous waves were caused by two cyclones to the northwest of the islands. Conditions have to be nearly perfect for the competition to commence.

The winner was 24 year-old Greg Long, a first-time entrant who took home a $55,000 prize.

The dangerous conditions inflicted one injury, but safety teams were on standby to deal with any accidents.