The rare Eddie Aikau surf competition took place for the first time in seven years in the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii. The competition finally received the go signal from event officials on Thursday morning.
Shane Dorian, Ross Clarke-Jones and Kelly Slater, the world’s best surfers, came to take part in the invitational event. They flew from around the world to compete in the “Eddie” at Waimea Bay. John John Florence, the Hawaiian, was announced the winner, according to the Guardian.
The competition is named after Eddie Aikau, a famous Hawaiian life guard. Over 30,000 people attended the event in 2009. More crowd was expected this year. Crowds had already poured in, anticipating the event two weeks earlier, but organizers had to call it off at the last moment due to insufficient swell.
“This could be the biggest Eddie in 40 years,” said Clyde Aikau, Eddie’s brother who won the invitational competition in 1986. Clyde took part in the event for the last time.
In the dying moments of the event, hometown hero John John Florence solidified the score he needed to win the 2016 championship.
“It’s one of the most special moments of my life, for sure,” said John John Florence, according to The Inertia. “This event’s only run a couple times in my whole life, and for me to be a part of it is amazing. I’m just overwhelmed with adrenaline. Just from the whole day, looking at big ones like ‘ahh, am I gonna go or not?'”