There’s been a bit of financial back and forth between the WSL, Quiksilver, and the Aikau family as to whether the Eddie Invitational would run this year. Negotiations had soured between the Aikaus and Quiksilver, who held the city permit to call The Eddie on for this year, though the permit was considered void without the consent of Uncle Clyde and siblings Solomon and Myra. Failed talks would mean the end of the iconic 31-year-old event, one that has been given the go-ahead just nine times in its history. After some urgent conversation throughout the last month, and with the help of Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell and his City Council, Quiksilver and the Aikau family reached a short-term agreement on Monday to launch the Eddie Invitational waiting period for its 32nd year.
“This is a really special day for all of us, the Aikau family, to really be smiling a lot,” said Clyde in a recent press release. “We’re really proud to announce that, yes, we’re going to have an Eddie big-wave event this year. I think what’s important is that the sponsors finally realized that what is important to this family is larger than all the money you could offer the family, and larger than almost anything – trying to preserve what Eddie Aikau is all about, his legacy, saving lives, helping people is what this family is all about.”
The ceremonial paddle-out for the Invitational is today, December 1, at 3:00pm HAST at Waimea Bay (To see photos from last year’s paddle-out, click here). The waiting period runs from December 1st, through February 28.
Quiksilver recently released the 52-name invitee / alternate list. You’ll find two noteworthy additions this year: (1) alternate Keala Kennelly, who becomes the first female name in the event’s history, and a fitting one – last month, she also became the first women to ride a professionally sanctioned big wave in the Pe’ahi Challenge at Jaws; and (2) Michael Ho, who will surf alongside son Mason and together will form the event’s first-ever father-son pair at The Eddie.
John John Florence
Alternates (The alternate invitation list is used to replace injured or unavailable surfers from the invitation list. Alternate invitations are offered in the order set out below):