Eddie Aikau_winner

Luke Shepardson wins the Eddie

The win of Luke Shepardson, a City Council lifeguard, has been nothing less than a big wave fairytale. He scored a total of 89 points out of a 90-point maximum (three waves each with a 30-point max scoring). With this excellent scoring, he kept John-John Florence from becoming the ever-back-to-back winner of the event. On Sunday, the 22nd of January Waimea Bay was in all its glory with massive waves rolling towards the shores of the crowded beach with over 50.000 visitors. The swell was hitting the buoy at 29 feet and 19 seconds. Even though the minimum conditions of running the Eddie is + 30 feet. The conditions were too good to not run it.

Soon the first women to ever compete in the Eddie Aikau, Andrea Moller, Keala Kennelly, Justine Dupont, Emily Erickson, Makani Adric, and Paige Alms paddled out as well as the 40 males in the competition. Each heat had at least one woman surfing amongst the man. The eighth-hour event gave the surfers the opportunity to surf two heats with 4 waves maximum in one heat.

Ezekiel Lau caught the wave of the day racing down a massive wall. Besides jaw-dropping waves surfed by the best big wave chargers in the world, we saw some scary wipeouts too.

At the end of the day, the Hawaiian local lifeguard and surfer Luke Shepardson took the win home. During the event, he was on duty as a lifesaver and had to run back to the tower after the award ceremony. The Eddie Aikau is a memorial of Waimea Bays lifeguard and surfer Eddie Aikau and has been running since 1985. And this year a member of the new generation of incredible watermen took the win. A fairytale and maybe some Eddie mana in the bay making it happen.

The Eddie Aikau 2023 results: 

1. Luke Shepardson
2. John John Florence
3. Mark Healey
4. Billy Kemper
5. Kai Lenny
6. Zeke Lau
7. Landon Mcnamara
8. Keali’i Mamala

Previous winners: 

Denton Miyamura (1987), Clyde Aikau (1986), Keone Downing (1990), Noah Johnson (1999), Ross Clarke-Jones (2001), Kelly Slater (2002), Bruce Irons (2004), Greg Long (2009), John Florence (2016)

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