HONOLULU (AP) — Luke Shepardson was declared the winner in one of the world’s most prestigious and storied surfing contests held in Hawaii over the weekend for the first time in seven years.
Shepardson was declared the winner Sunday of The Eddie Aikau Big Wave Invitational, while John John Florence — the winner of the event in 2016, the last time it happened — was named runner-up. Shepardson, a Honolulu Ocean Safety lifeguard, scored 89.1 points out of a possible 90 to edge out defending champion Florence, the Star-Advertiser reported.
Mark Healey took third place and Billy Kemper took fourth.
The competition also featured female surfers for the first time in its 39-year history, and six competed.
Andrea Moller made history as the first female to ride a competitive wave at “The Eddie,” the newspaper reported.
The one-day contest held in Waimea Bay on Oahu’s North Shore goes forward only when the surf is consistently large enough during the winter big-wave surfing season from mid-December through mid-March.
Before this year, it had only been held nine times since the initial competition in 1984.
The competition honors legendary Native Hawaiian waterman Eddie Aikau for his selflessness, courage and sacrifice.