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Surfing: Lifeguard wins "The Eddie" in Hawaii


»The Eddie« is one of the most prestigious surfing competitions in the world, it is only held when the waves are particularly big. This year's winner stands in the tradition of the man to whom the event was dedicated.

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Photo: Jamm Aquino/AP

It is one of the most prestigious and long-established surfing competitions in the world, and it was held again this weekend for the first time in seven years: Lifeguard Luke Shepardson won the Eddie Aikau Big Wave Invitational in Hawaii, while John John Florence - the winner of the event in 2016, the last time it was held - was named runner-up.

Mark Healey took third and Billy Kemper fourth.

For the first time in the competition's 39-year history, six women surfers also competed.

Honor for Hawaiian water sports enthusiast

The event — also known simply as “The Eddie” — is a one-day competition held at Waimea Bay on Oahu's North Shore only when the surf is steady during the winter big wave surfing season from mid-December to mid-March is big enough.

The wind, the tide and the direction of the swell also have to be right.

"Big enough" means twenty feet in Hawaiian terms.

Prior to this year, since the first competition in 1984, conditions have only been right nine times to hold the competition.

The competition honors legendary Hawaiian water sportsman Eddie Aikau.

He is best known as the first lifeguard hired by Honolulu to work on Oahu's North Shore.

He was revered for saving more than 500 people over the course of his career.

He is also famous for surfing huge waves that no one else dared to ride.

Aikau died in 1978 at the age of 31 during an expedition to sail from Honolulu to Tahiti in a traditional Polynesian canoe.

Just a few hours out of the harbor, the huge double-hulled canoe, the Hokulea, ran aground in stormy weather and overturned.

Aikau volunteered and paddled his surfboard several miles to nearby Lanai Island for help for the rest of the crew, but was never seen again.


Source: spiegel

All sports articles on 2023-01-24

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