Eddie Aikau surf contest: local lifeguard beats world’s best big wave surfers to take title

11 days ago The Guardian

Luke Shepardson is more accustomed to saving lives than winning international surf competitions, but on Monday the on-duty lifeguard saw off some of the biggest names in the sport to claim victory at the prestigious Eddie Aikau Big Wave Invitational in Hawaii. The competition, known simply as The Eddie, is held only when waves at Waimea Bay consistently reach 30ft or bigger. Luke Shepardson scored 89.1 points out of a possible 90 to claim the title and $10,000 prize money. “It felt incredible to surf in this event,” Kai Lenny, a top big-wave surfer, who finished in fifth place. “I know we’ve all had the Eddie Aikau posters in our rooms growing up, so to have the opportunity to actually go out there for Eddie and his ohana [family], the Aikaus, was a dream come true for me.”
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