THE BAY CLOSED OUT
Last weekend had a lot of action in the surf world in in Hawaii, since the biggest swell of the last years hit the islands. On Friday, January 15, the waves were large enough for the “Eddie Aikau” championship be considered. It is the most famous big waves championship in the world. The sea was rising too fast, with the first series with 20 Hawaiian feet coming at 8 o’clock. The organizers of the event only go ahead with the championship if the weather is in perfect condition and on that day it was cloudy and rainy. According to forecasts, strong waves came in the morning and we could see sets of 20 Hawaiian legitimate feet around 10 am. At 11 am the first series of 25 feet came, closing the whole bay. The swell lasted six hours, making the bay close constantly.
The conditions were not perfect, but this amazing swell at Waimea Bay had surfers in the water all the time throughout the day. I waited until late afternoon, figuring that the wind would turn offshore and improve conditions. I already find it difficult and dangerous to surf big waves, especially with headwinds. It was a day of great waves, which everyone could feel on the skin whatit is to surf waves big enough for Eddie Aikau championship. I had the opportunity to see up close how two of the best athletes in the world, Kelly Slater and John John Florence, do in this type of waves. This El Nino swell in 2016 will definately stay in our memory.
Author: Ricardo Taveira (Surfer, professional diver, apnea instructor and owner of Hawaii Eco Divers & Surf Adventures dive company, surfing and ecotourism in the North Shore of Oahu.)