Well that was one God-darn radical surf contest. After all the Jaws heroics of recent years, followed by the enormous success of December’s Pe’ahi Challenge and the minor embarrassment caused by Quiksilver’s defective traffic lights earlier this month, folk were starting to wonder if Waimea wasn’t a haggard old has-been and the Eddie a great big fuss about nothing.
They’re not wondering any longer.
It was the biggest Waimea in Eddie history; the ledge was terrifying and the wipeouts were hideous; the pace was a little slow at times, but the cumulative effect of the drama was intoxicating. Over two rounds of four seven-man heats John John Florence emerged as the clear victor, his top four waves amounting to a total of 301 out of a possible 400. He was out in front after Round 1 with 170 points, and in his second heat regained the lead from Ross Clarke-Jones with two scores in the high 80s. Clarke-Jones, who won the Eddie in 2000/2001, finished on 278; Shane Dorian came in 3rd with 270, followed by Jamie Mitchell and Kelly Slater.
John John remained stylish, almost nonchalant, throughout, his languid, upright posture somehow serving him better in the explosions of white water than the power stances preferred by most competitors.