The Eddie Is On! Surfers Flock to Oahu's North Shore

Spectacular waves on Oahu's North Shore are attracting the best surfers in the world to try their luck.

The New York Times is reporting that "the cream - or is it the foam? - of the surfing world" is gathering at Waimea Bay in hopes that the Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau Competition - one of the sport's most prestigious and rarest events - would be held. "The Eddie," named for a well-known Hawaiian surfer and lifeguard, is an invitation-only event held when the surf is at its fiercest - in its 25-year history, it has been held only seven times, the last in 2004 - and can be called at a moment's notice.

According to Twitter feeds, the event is officially on. Watch here: http://live.quiksilver.com/2009/eddie

The Times also points out the economic advantages of the Eddie, as hotels and surf shops filled up. Joe Green, the owner of Surf N' Sea, in nearby Haleiwa, said that winter tourism - a lifeblood of the Hawaiian economy - seemed to be coming back in 2009, and that big surf helped.

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