Schedule : Next call at 8.30AM
Of the eight years that The Quiksilver In Memory of Eddie has been held at Waimea Bay, the Eddie of January 1999, won by Hawaii's Noah Johnson, was the only La Nina winter. So while the odds are definitely slimmer on a La Nina year, it only takes one day of giant surf to hit the ON switch at the Bay.
Delve a little deeper into the statistics and you find that since record-keeping began in 1968, there have been seven La Nina winters prior to this winter. Across those seven winters, there was an average of four days in the 20- to 30-foot range per winter.
The winter of 1998/99 when Johnson won was spot-on the average for a La Nina winter. Reasons as to why the Eddie did not go on other big days of surf include the timing of the swell (eg. peaking during the night), storm-affected surf, or brief duration of the peak of the swell.
So just because this is a moderate to strong La Nina year is no reason to count the Eddie out! It takes just one storm system and one day. With a holding period of three months, there is time to wait.
Lastly, over the past 25 years of the Eddie, the event has only run back-to-back years on one occasion: January 2001, when Ross Clarke-Jones (AUS) won, and January 2002, when Kelly Slater (USA) won. And January is the odds-on favorite month, with a total of four Eddies running in January versus three in December, and one in February.