The 28th Annual Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau opening ceremony and blessing will take place at Waimea Bay on November 29th, 2012 at 3pm. The ceremony will include this years’ 28 Invitees, including many returning veterans and past Eddie champions, such as Kelly Slater, Bruce Irons, and Greg Long, but will also include several first time Invitees, like Alex Gray, John John Florence and Ian Walsh. The surfers will be joined by the Aikau family with many members attending, including Eddie’s younger brother Clyde Aikau, who is an invitee and also previous champion of the event.
When the Invitees and event Alternates paddle out and form the ceremonial circle at Waimea Bay, it is all about camaraderie and making a connection with other big wave surfers that ultimately will take part in the extraordinary event and watch for each others’ safety in honor of Eddie.
“I like to feel and know that we’re really all on one level and that we’re all out to ride the biggest waves that pull through Waimea Bay on the day that we have the event,” said Clyde Aikau, who leads the paddle out each winter, “but even more important is that there is a physical and a spiritual connection with the other guys that ride at Waimea Bay. You know, you can win the event – it’s a tremendous honor to win the Eddie Aikau – but I think what is even more monumental is the feeling of being together, to enter the water, to ride the biggest waves in the world, and to know that if something goes wrong, your partner in the heat is going to be there to help you out, because that’s what Eddie was all about. He gave his life to save others, gave his life to save thousands of people at Waimea Bay, and helped people he never knew. So carrying that throughout the event goes a long, long way.”
The official waiting period for the Eddie begins December 1st and ends February 28th, 2013. The event requires large 20 plus foot surf for the judges, contest director and surfers to deem the surf contestable enough to run the event. The Eddie as only been held 8 times since its creation which shows the size and consistency needed in the swell to call the Eddie ON. The last time the event ran was in the winter of 2009/10 and Greg Long took top Honors.
EDDIE AIKAU HONOR ROLL:
Denton Miyamura (Hawaii) – winter of 1985/86
Clyde Aikau (Hawaii) – winter of 1986/87
Keone Downing (Hawaii) – winter of 1989/90
Noah Johnson (Hawaii) – winter of 1998/99
Ross Clarke-Jones (Australia) – winter of 2000/01
Kelly Slater (Florida) – winter of 2001/02
Bruce Irons (Hawaii) – winter of 2004/05
Greg Long (California) – 2009/10
To view the full list of Invitees & Alternates, please visit: www.Quiksilver.com/Eddie
About Eddie Aikau:
Just 31 years of age when he was lost at sea during an ill-fated voyage of Hawaii’s Hokule’a double-hull sailing canoe in 1978, Aikau was a young man at the height of a career equally dedicated to big-wave riding and lifeguarding at historic Waimea Bay. Filled with a pure passion to ride giant surf, take care of his fellow man, and uphold his Hawaiian culture and family values, Aikau became the benchmark by which all big wave riders are measured.