Eddie Aikau was a famous surfer and life guard in Hawaii. In his honor, they hold a surfing contest. But, it’s only held under extreme wave conditions so, when organizers decided to have the contest in the last few days, it was the first time since 2004 and only the 8th time in the past 25 years that it was held. The Quicksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau Big Wave Surf Contest has been held in honor of Aikau who died when his traditional Hawaiian voyaging canoe capsized as he attempted to travel to Tahiti from Hawaii. The contest is now referred to as “The Eddie” and it was held this week following conditions that produced waves of 40 to 50 feet.
The competition drew 28 of the world’s greatest surfers and 9-time world champion Kelly Slater took and early lead but eventually was overtaken by first time competitor, Greg Long. The 24-year-old Long took home $55,000 for his efforts. Conditions were described as “unbelievably dangrous” but only one competitor, Australian Tom Carroll, was injured. Here’s the AP video of the giant waves. Pretty incredible. Click image above for about 6 minutes of amateur video.
On This Date In History: When the Treaty of Paris on this date in 1898, was signed ending the Spanish-American War. As part of the spoils the US got Guam and Puerto Rico and Cuba became a US Protectorate. The Philippines were acquired for $20 million. Now, this is where it gets interesting. Filipino insurgents who had fought against Spanish rule suddenly turned their guns on the US troops. The US then became occupiers who promised to leave the country….and the US finally did some time after WWII but we had a Naval Base at Subic Bay until Mt. Pinatubo erupted in the 1990′s and hastened the Americans’ exit. But for years afterward, the insurgents fought the Americans. Thousands of Americans were killed…some estimates say 10 times as many soldiers died fighting the insurgents than died defeating the Spanish. While Teddy Roosevelt is remembered as a “Rough Rider” in Cuba during the conflict, history has forgotten the drubbing he took in the press for not bringing home the troops in what was seen as a Civil War halfway around the world. Sound familiar? But, he persisted and the Philippines became a independent democracy and US Allie. In my view, the conflict in Iraq had much more in common with the aftermath of the Spanish American War than much in the Vietnam War. Its just that in school we tend to not be taught much about the turn of the century while Vietnam gets much more attention and there are people still alive who remember Vietnam. But….again in my view….the Vietnam comparisons are generally too simplistic and tenuous while a study of the Philippines draws much more remarkable comparisons.
Weather Bottom Line: Really nothing new in the forecast. Warmer but not warm. After a morning start in the teens, we move to the upper 30′s on Friday. Clouds will increase on Saturday but we get to the low 40′s and then after that there is a chance for rain on Sunday and Monday and possibly into early Tuesday. The jetstream lifts slightly north so we don’t get back below freezing until a frontal systems sneaks through and Tuesday night we fall to the mid 20′s. Next couple of days after that we have colder than average highs in the mid to upper 30′s and lows in the 20′s.