HONOLULU (KHON2) — On the call for the Eddie Aikau Big Wave Invitational will be two surf stalwarts in the islands, Kaipo Guerrero and Rocky Canon.
With the event being arguably the most prestigious surfing contest on earth, having only run 9 times since 1985, each edition of The Eddie is unique.
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One of the things Guerrero is so excited to see this year is the number of wahine in the lineup.
“This year’s Eddie format will be five heats of eight surfers in each heat. Unique to this year and introducing this year every one of these heats will have at least one female surfers out of those eight surfers out of the lineup. The eight surfers are allowed to catch four waves in their heat and then they have to come in.,” explained Guerrero.
“There’s two rounds of those eight surfer heats; and at the end of the day, it’s a leaderboard. Top three waves for each of the surfers will be tallied together the surfer with the highest total will be this year’s champ,” Guerrero said.
With their extensive work in the surfing community, it is an incredible honor for both commentators.
“It’s a gathering of surfing; so, I’m honored to be able to highlight this and be a part of it. I’ve been a part of the past Eddies before in different capacities, but it really is a gathering of surf culture and just the legacy of Eddie Aikau as a Hawaiian Waterman,” Guerrero said.
The last time the bay called the day was back in 2016 when a historic swell saw local legend John John Florence take the crown.
“In 2016, it was giant John John Florence who took the win out there. We were calling it the Brock swell after Brock Little, who we recently had lost and who is one of the most epic Waimea surfers of all time. So, there’s a certain Mana as well involved in this event. And, I think that’s what makes it so special,” Guerrero said.
You don’t have to be a surf fanatic to enjoy it.
For Guerrero and Canon, it is a chance also to share some history with an expected worldwide audience.
“We want to give everyone entertainment as well as a little bit of a history lesson and a cultural lesson. So, I have some great partners. In joining me, Dr. Isaiah Walker should be coming in from BYU; and he’s going to be touching on some of the cultural significance and historical facts about surfing at Waimea,” Guerrero said.
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KHON2’s coverage of The Eddie begins Sunday, Jan. 21 at 6:00 a.m. with WakeUp 2Day, with the contest beginning at 8:00 a.m. live on KHON2.com and KHII.