Surfers are not usually honoured for winning just one event, but the ‘Quiksilver In Memory of Eddie Aikau’ is different.
This big wave event in Waimea Bay, Hawaii, is only held when the surf is over 40 feet. Surfers stand by all season to see if they get the call from organisers to compete.
Some years it doesn’t happen at all, but 2009 saw the biggest sustained surf to hit the Hawaiian Islands in 40 years. American Greg Long committed himself to an unbelievable never-say-die attack, securing all four of his top scores, several of them death-defying and one of them a perfect 100-point ride, to win the $55,000 first prize in front of a capacity crowd of 50,000.
It was the high point of Long’s career to-date, made even more remarkable as it was the first time he had ever surfed Waimea.
Greg was born and raised in San Clemente, California where he grew up on the beach. His father, Steve, was the lifeguard supervisor for the San Clemente and San Onofre State Parks and consequently Greg was introduced to the water and surfing at a very young age. He began surfing competively at the age of twelve and continued to surf at the top of his class during the years following.