2009 Eddie Aikau Photo Highlights

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An early morning lineup at The Bay, with attendants from all walks of life already scrambling for a seat to the show.

Reef McIntosh and Jamie O'Brien sharpen their swords and ready to battle.

Big board, big sticker, big rep. Kala Alexander doesn't sweat the small stuff.

Don't let the B&W fool you - this guy is classic AND modern. The ageless Michael Ho prepares to paddle out.

Three's a crowd. Michael Ho, Andy Irons and Pete Mel practice their sharing.

Heat 1 in the water. What do you suppose they're talking about? The stock market?

Ramon Navarro won $10,000 for a 100 point ride in the Monster Big Drop Award. This wasn't it.

Ross Clark-Jones (falling) and Bruce Irons (trying not to fall).

The Eddie provided moments of fear, joy, frustration, and pure, jaw-hits-the-floor awe.

Santa Cruz's Peter Mel has been a commentator in the Vans Triple Crown events over the past month, but here he gets a taste of life on the other side of the microphone. Straight down at Waimea.

For once, the girls on the beach had a hard time getting any attention.

Garret McNamara ollies down a 20-stair.

Fins out! Mark Healey looks to sneak in the backdoor at Waimea. You'd have an easier time sneaking into the White House.

Reef McIntosh with a front-row seat to Kelly Slater's tube antics - but somehow, we assume his mind was elsewhere.

The Aikau family name lives on in this event in far more than just the posters and T-shirts. Clyde Aikau, representing for the ohana.

The pulled-back perspective shows just how much ocean is involved in a set at Waimea. Imagine tipping over a few Olympic swimming pools at high-speed. Bruce Irons.

The Eddie is more than a surf contest - it's a spectacle of human achievement. An estimated 30,000 people came to witness the heroics, and you can bet that many of them have never surfed a day in their lives.

The parking spots were full and the highway was crawling long before the heat hit the water. Kam Highway conga line.

Al and Reef McIntosh, just a couple of Kauai boys heading out for a shred.

Shane Dorian is either tasting somethign sour, trying to solve a hard math problem, or giving us stink eye.

Joing the small club of surfers who dominate whether it's flat or four-stories, Andy Irons proves he's well-rounded.

Nobody remembers second place, but everyone remembers Kelly Slater. Paradox. Sl9er steps into the ring.

His daughter is winning events on the ASP Women's World Tour; his son just made the semis at Sunset; but Michael Ho isn't quite ready to pass the torch just yet.

No takers on a massive rice bowl.

Kelly, playing in the shorebreak.

This looks more like Paia than Waimea. Kala Alexander skirts the explosion on a pretty one.

You're a beast of a human just to paddle out, clinically insane to ride a wave, but going left? That's just plain certifiable. Mark Healey, seek help.

Freddy P showed masterful announcing skills throughout the Eddie. Retirement plan? Freddy in the booth.

Rico Jimenez and Dustin Barca rocking the SURFING Magazine North Shore season T-shirts. What can we say, the boys have style.

From shore, this just looks like three dots of color slowly falling down the face. Reef McIntosh gets burned, twice.

Kelly channels good friend Brock Little and goes for some tube time.

Dorian and Makuakai Rothman take off behind the bowl. Could be today, could be 40 years ago. Waimea is timeless.

From Sunset finals to Eddie heroics in a few short days. Sunny Garcia is having just the sort of Hawaii season you'd expect from him; dominant.

Dorian getting air.

The view from the yard. Nice. Peaceful. Quite a contrast with the chaos just a few hundred yards away.

Kohl Christensen brings back the wheelie air, while Sunny and Rusty Keaulana take a slightly saner approach to the bomb-drop.

2009 Eddie Aikau invitational winner Greg Long on his 100 point wave. Greg is slowly taking over the world of big-wave surfing. Well...not that slowly.

Tom Carroll broke his leg out at Waimea the day before the event, but that wasn't going to keep him away from the action.

Sunny Garcia way out in front. Beware of falling boulders.

Sunny again, moments after a bomb was dropped on his head. Yeah, he made it.

Driving on the North Shore was not an option with the traffic, but Makua knows how to navigate a plugged up highway.

Former event winner BRuce Irons makes his way to the inside, conjuring images of him standing tall in the shorebreak in 2004.

Ramon Navarro was a crowd favorite. He had so much energy and enthusiasm that you couldn't help but love him - not to mention, he absolutely charged.

Greg Long, slightly rashed but no worse for wear.

Kelly Slater humbly accepts 2nd place. No tabulating error this time, but the man still put on an amazing performance.

Another Eddie, another new champion. San Clemente's Greg Long comes away with the check and one of the biggest accolades in surfing next to his name for life. Understandably psyched.