Twiggy Baker, the 2016 Eddie Aikau Invitational. Photo: Ellis
Twiggy Baker, the 2016 Eddie Aikau Invitational. Photo: Ellis

The Eddie Won’t Go This Season

Citing time constraints, Aikau family forced to bag prestigious contest

The series of on-again-off-again updates regarding the 2017-2018 incarnation of the illustrious In Memory of Eddie Aikau contest at Waimea Bay appears to have come to an anticlimactic end.

On Wednesday, the Aikau family announced that the contest — renamed “The Eddie” — held in honor of the big-wave legend and lifeguard would not run this winter, according to the Honolulu Star Advertiser.

The saga of this season's event began in October, when the Aikau family was unable to come to terms with the contest's two-headed sponsorship team of Quiksilver and Red Bull. Despite parting ways with longtime contest sponsor Quiksilver, Clyde Aikau said the family was still planning on running The Eddie, telling KHON2 news, "The main thing is that the family wants to continue to carry on Eddie’s legacy and what he was all about," and that the contest would go, "even if we have to hand out coconuts for trophies."

Although the Aikaus eventually obtained a permit for the event, a family spokesperson told the Honolulu Star Advertiser that a lack of time and resources has shifted the focus to a 2018-2019 iteration of The Eddie.

"It really is the most prestigious surf contest in the world. And we did not want to compromise that because it ultimately would be compromising Eddie's integrity to not do something proper," the family spokesperson told the Star Advertiser.

Last run in 2015-2016, The Eddie is likely not tenable without a main corporate sponsor, and the Aikau family—who has already applied for a permit for 2018-2019—will be actively seeking one in order to ensure the contest runs next season.