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Could the 'Eddie' be a go? organizers hope waves will meet competition standards this year

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Eddie Aikau surf contest file

After more than five years, the Eddie Aikau Big Wave Invitational Surf Contest could be held once again this year. 

The last competition was held in 2016. Since then, the contest was canceled over weak surf conditions -- last year's was nixed due to COVID. 

To run the contest -- waves need to reach "Eddie" level height -- 40-foot faces. 

This year, surfers may not be the only ones praying for towering surf. 

According to organizers, about 30,000 spectators flocked to the shores of Waimea Bay in 2016 to watch the last contest. 

The fanfare could provide much needed business to nearby restaurants and shops, which have faced financial uncertainty for nearly two years because of the pandemic. 

Michelle Maldonado, general manager of restaurant Rajanee Thai Hale'iwa, said during the contest, "we definitely see a lot more foot traffic through town and of course that means a lot more interest in dining out and experiencing what the north shore has to offer."

Event planners predict the contest may be held sometime between the beginning of December and the end of February. 

The event is not officially announced until a couple days beforehand. 

"Around mid-December, January, we're expecting Eddie Aikau waves hopefully," Clyde said. 

This year, organizers will also hold a new competition at the same beach and around the same time-frame called "Wave of the Bay."

The victor will be awarded $10,000 and an invitation to the next Eddie. 

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