WAIMEA BAY, Hawaii (KHON2) — After a false start weeks ago, The Eddie Aikau Big Wave Invitational is set to commence on Sunday, Jan. 22.
With big waves come big needs for accommodating spectators. The Department of Transportation and Waimea Valley will be opening its parking lots and services for competition goers.
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Local parking with Waimea Valley.
Waimea Valley’s visitor center will be open to provide more bathrooms. Also, the Wahi ʻᾹina Grill, Hale Kope Coffee Shop and Bar Kikoni will all be open to the public.
Parking will cost $40 for front lot locations, and back lot locations will be $20. Parking is limited and will accommodate first come, first served until it is full.
Waimea Valley said they will open parking at 2 a.m. and accept cash only. Overnight parking is prohibited and violators will be towed.
If you are going to Waimea Valley for their offerings, then do not fret. Parking will be available for Valley visitors from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Waimea Valley is a puʻuhonua meaning it is a place of refuge and sanctuary. It is a place of peace and safety for Hawai’i and the world.
The caretakers of Waimea Valley seek to preserve and perpetuate human, cultural and natural resources for all future generations.
Mayor Rick Blangiardi along with Aikau ‘Ohana, event sponsors and numerous agencies within the City and County of Honolulu and State of Hawai‘i are working to sort out how folks can enjoy the Eddie this year.
It is important to keep in mind that the Eddie will not officially begin until it is called on Sunday morning. So, check back on Sunday morning to find out if Eddie will go.
In the meantime, you can make preparations for the impending event.
The Eddie Big Wave Invitational will be live-streamed. With birds eye views and in-the-middle-of-it coverage, live streaming promises to be an excellent experience. You can watch it on KHII and KHON2.com from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. as we will have all things Eddie covered. You can also watch the event’s last two hours on rebroadcast on KHON2 from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. But, you can also catch it here on Surfline.
Get there via The Bus.
If you are wanting to go out to see the Eddie in person, then there is no better way to transport that by using The Bus.
The Bus will be offering four extra, early-morning buses on Route 52 to the North Shore from Honolulu. The route will go directly between Waimea Bay and Honolulu along Route 52. It will depart the mauka [mountain] side of Ala Moana Center from Kona Street at Kona Iki Street at 4:30 a.m., 5 a.m., 5:30 am, and 6 a.m. Look for the buses that display special signs showing, “52 HALEʻIWA-WAIMEA BAY.”
The Department of Transportation also said that regularly scheduled Route 52 services will operate every 30 minutes from 6:20 a.m. Passengers who use the regular Route 52 bus service will need to transfer at Weed Circle to Route 60 in order to continue their trip to Waimea Bay.
All those traveling via The Bus need to remember that the total travel time to Waimea Bay may exceed two hours; it will all depend upon traffic conditions, which are expected to be extremely heavy. So, please plan your trips accordingly.
There is also the option of park and ride. Those wishing to do this need to consider parking along Route 52. This includes connections at Kalihi Transit Center, Mililani Park and Ride, Wahiawā Armory and Wahiawā Park and Ride.
Another option via The Bus includes shuttles marked with “60 HONOLULU-ALA MOANA” to Waimea Bay and “60 HALEʻIWA” to Haleʻiwa. These will operate between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. DOT said these services should provide trips every 30 minutes but that prevailing traffic conditions could disrupt operations along the North Shore.
Once you need to return to Honolulu, you can ride Route 60 to Honolulu and Ala Moana Center via Kane’ohe. You can also use Route 60 back to Hale’iwa and transfer to Route 52 at Haleʻiwa Beach Park.
Keep in mind that regular bus fare rates apply to all trips.
Information on park facilities.
The most important thing you need to remember if going to the Eddie in person is your kuleana to mālama ‘āina. It is your responsibility to respect the land. The ‘āina and wai are not there for you to exploit; it is there for you to love and respect. So, take this responsibility to heart.
Be sure you are following all directives on disposing of waste and complying with park rules. This means no smoking, no alcohol, no large canopies and no enclosed tents on the beach park.
There will be additional restroom facilities and rubbish bins. There are no authorized food vendors for the Eddie. This means you will need to bring your own supplies — food, sunscreen and water — and dispose of everything properly.
Waimea Bay’s geography can pose challenges to today’s technologies. The region does interfere with telecommunications, especially when factoring in tens of thousands of spectators in a very tiny land area. So, be sure you plan on not necessarily being able to use your telecommunications devices while visiting the North Shore.
Ocean and public safety.
Throughout the competition, first responders from the Honolulu Police Department, Honolulu Fire Department, Honolulu Ocean Safety, Honolulu Emergency Medical Services and Honolulu Emergency Management will be on hand to ensure public safety.
All persons going to the North Shore for this event must remember that unless you are an experienced ocean-goer, then you need to avoid the ocean and shoreline on north and west facing shores during this hugely popular, big-surf event.
The area is expecting waves of over 40 feet [face height]. Meanwhile, the Leeward side should expect waves up to 35 feet.
To assist with the Eddie, Ocean Safety lifeguards will be providing additional backup with jet ski rescue until patrols. Likewise, EMS will have units stationed at Waimea Bay in anticipation of needing to respond to ocean injuries.
There will be no parking allowed on either side of Kamehameha Highway from ‘Ili‘ohu Place to the Saints Peter & Paul Mission. This will begin on Saturday, Jan. 21 at 10 p.m. through the duration of the event.
Private security will be on hand to assist HPD in traffic control and event management. HPD said this will include addressing parking issues and allowing for safe pedestrian passage.
This event is a high-stakes, big-wave competition. As such, HPD asked that everyone obey all road signs and ensure that there are adequate passage routes for emergency vehicles.
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Also, organizers for the Eddie are restricting drone usage in the area; so leave those drones at home, folks.