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Sunday, December 04, 2011

Let there be waves!

I was intrigued by the "Wave watch on" part of this UPI article "Wave watch on for Aikau surf tournament".  My immediate reaction was questioning in my mind: Can it be done?
HALEIWA, Hawaii, Dec. 2 (UPI) -- The wait for waves began Friday for the Eddie Aikau, the penultimate tournament for big-wave surfers on Hawaii's North Shore.
Surf at the fame Waimea Bay was running 6-10 feet Friday, about half of the minimum 20-foot height required to get the competition under way.
So the "wait" is really a wishful expectation as the required 20 -foot minimum height for the event is not at all a certainty -- not something we know it's really going to happen, just as what I thought.
Kelly Slater and defending champion Greg Long lead the elite roster of surfers invited to the event, which is formally known as the Quicksilver In Memory of Eddie Aikau but is known in surfing circles as "The Eddie." 
The Eddie has been held only eight times in the past 27 years and will run from Dec. 1 to Feb. 29, depending on conditions.
That "only eight times in the past 27 years", a little more than one in three, is about the chance the nature will allow it to happen:
A Hawaiian priest presided over Thursday's opening ceremony. Billy Mitchell told the crowd gathered on the sand the spirit of Aikau, who was lost at sea in 1978, remains an inspiration and predicted "there will be waves."
Now that "there will be waves" may be from the nature's point of view is "Let there be 20' waves!" -- whatever the expectation might be it is just about about a 33 percent probability.  This probability for the Eddie took 27 years to establish.  Come to the regard of freaque waves, however, we still have no way of establishing a probability for the phenomenon right now -- because no one seems to be interested in consciously to establish one right now. 

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