Lifeguard wins world's biggest surfing competition during his break

Luke Shepardson rides a large wave during The Eddie Aikau Big Wave Invitational at Waimea Bay. Credit: 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.

The 27-year-old was declared the winner 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.

He managed to compete in the competition while taking approved breaks from his lifeguarding duty in Waimea Bay.

Mr 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.

Luke Shepardson is raised up by fellow big wave surfers after winning The Eddie Aikau Big Wave Invitational. Credit: AP

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, with six competing.

Andrea Moller made history as the first female to ride a competitive wave at “The Eddie", the newspaper reported.

Footages shows the moment that Luke Shepardson found out he had won 'The Eddie' and his winning surf. Credit: Surfline

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 honours legendary Native Hawaiian waterman Eddie Aikau for his selflessness, courage and sacrifice.

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