2016/17 Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau Comes to a Close

Courtesy of WSL – World Surf League

Mason Ho (HAW) and John Florence (HAW) share a wave during the most recent Eddie on February 25, 2016. Image: WSL/Freesurf/Keoki

 

Location:     Waimea Bay, Oahu, Hawaii                                                 
Event window:        December 1, 2016 – February 28, 2017 
Rating:  WSL Specialty Event 
HALEIWA, Oahu, Hawaii – (Monday, February 27, 2017) — The three-month holding period for the 2016/17 Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau Big Wave Invitational, a World Surf League (WSL) Specialty Event, will draw to a close at 4pm HST tomorrow. “The Eddie” can only run when wave face heights hit the range of 40-feet-plus for a full day of competition – an opportunity that did not present itself this winter.

Beginning in 1985, the Quiksilver In Memory of Eddie Aikau Big Wave Invitational has been an invite-only big-wave event that takes place at Waimea Bay on the North Shore of Oahu, where the late Eddie Aikau served as the North Shore’s first lifeguard. The waterman became a legendary figure in Hawaii after an ill-fated attempt to save fellow crew members onboard the Hōkūle’a in 1978, and continues to inspire generations with his symbolism of bravery, camaraderie and aloha spirit.

Surfers gathered for the opening ceremony on December 1, 2016. L to R: Evan Valiere, Mark Healey, John Florence, Nathan Florence, Koa Rothman, Greg Long, Jamie O’Brien. Image: WSL/Sloane

The Eddie has only run nine times in its storied 32-year history. As a WSL specialty-sanctioned big-wave event, The Eddie has drawn a prestigious cross-section of the world’s finest watermen, including competitors from the elite WSL Championship Tour (CT) and underground chargers that hold high merit within the big wave community.

The event is famous for its traditional Hawaiian opening ceremony, live broadcast and incredible atmosphere. North Shore native John John Florence (HAW) remains the event’s defending champion after claiming the coveted title in February 2016. From there, he went on to stamp out one of the greatest years in Hawaii surfing history after claiming the WSL World Championship and Vans Triple Crown title, among other awards.

Florence hoists the winner’s check alongside big wave surfing’s elite members. Image: WSL/Freesurf/Keoki

Other past victors include Eddie’s brother, Clyde Aikau (HAW) in 1986, 11x World Champion Kelly Slater (USA) in 2002, Kauai’s Bruce Irons in 2004 and big wave pioneer Greg Long (USA) in 2009. This past season saw the first female alternate included in the esteemed list, Keala Kennelly (HAW), who is a recognized big wave surfer and decorated professional athlete.

Aikau, 67, (right) looks poised on a massive wave at last year’s event. Image: WSL/Freesurf/Latronic

For now, Oahu’s big wave season quiets down as the swells shift to the southern coastlines and the attention turns to the first stop on the WSL Championship Tour, the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast in Australia from March 14 – 25. Fans can tune in to watch the competition live on WorldSurfLeague.com or catch the action on WSL’s mobile app, available for download HERE.

Aloha!

Lauren Rolland
WSL Hawaii/Tahiti Nui
Media & Communications Manager
lrolland@worldsurfleague.com

For more information, log onto WorldSurfLeague.com


About the World Surf League
The World Surf League (WSL), formerly the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP), is dedicated to celebrating the world’s best surfing on the world’s best waves through a variety of best-in-class audience platforms. The League, headquartered in Santa Monica, is a truly global sport with regional offices in Australasia, Africa, North America, South America, Hawaii, Japan and Europe.

The WSL has been championing the world’s best surfing since 1976, running global events across the Samsung Galaxy Men’s and Women’s Championship Tours, the Big Wave Tour, Qualifying Series, Junior and Longboard Championships, as well as the WSL Big Wave Awards. The League possesses a deep appreciation for the sport’s rich heritage while promoting progression, innovation and performance at the highest levels.

Showcasing the world’s best surfing on its digital platform at WorldSurfLeague.com as well as the free WSL app, the WSL has a passionate global fan base with millions tuning in to see world-class athletes like Mick Fanning, John John Florence, Stephanie Gilmore, Greg Long, Gabriel Medina, Carissa Moore, Makua Rothman, Kelly Slater, Adriano de Souza and more battle on the most unpredictable and dynamic field of play of any sport in the world.

For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com

 

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