Stab Magazine | The Quiksilver In Memory of Eddie Aikau Opening Ceremony
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The Quiksilver In Memory of Eddie Aikau Opening Ceremony

Yesterday, the opening ceremony for surfing’s most regal big wave surfing event was held: The Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau. Eddie, who was Waimea Bay head lifeguard and a beloved Hawaiian big wave surfer, was lost at sea on March 17, 1978. He was part of the crew aboard the traditional Polynesian voyaging canoe […]

full frame // Mar 8, 2016
Words by stab
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Yesterday, the opening ceremony for surfing’s most regal big wave surfing event was held: The Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau.

Eddie, who was Waimea Bay head lifeguard and a beloved Hawaiian big wave surfer, was lost at sea on March 17, 1978. He was part of the crew aboard the traditional Polynesian voyaging canoe Hokule’a, headed for Tahiti. The Hokule’a capsized in a wild storm just out of the Hawaiian Islands – Eddie jumped on his board and started paddling to shore to get help for the stranded crew. He was never seen again.

The Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau big wave invitational is held at Waimea every year in his honour. At yesterday’s opening ceremony, the extensive list of invitees (holders of the hottest ticket in big wave surfing) were joined by Eddie’s family and members of the voyaging crew, who sailed in to join the surfers (you’ll notice the ship to left of frame).

The invitees paddled out and formed a surfer’s circle alongside Hokule’a, and were addressed by Nainoa Thompson, who was on Hokule’a the night Eddie disappeared and was the last person to speak to him.

The holding period runs til February 28, but the event will only run if Waimea gets over 20 foot. Because of that strict criteria, the event’s only been held eight times, and most recently on December 8, 2009, when Greg Long won.

Just in case you’ve not yet seen it, here’s the full invitees list:

Aaron Gold
Bruce Irons
Carlos Burle
Clyde Aikau
Dave Wassel
Garrett McNamara
Grant Baker
Greg Long
Ian Walsh
Jamie O’Brien
Jamie Sterling
Jeremy Flores
John John Florence
Kala Alexander
Kelly Slater
Kohl Christensen
Makua Rothman
Mark Healey
Nathan Fletcher
Noah Johnson
Pete Mel
Reef McIntosh
Ramon Navarro
Ross Clarke-Jones
Shane Dorian
Sunny Garcia
Takayuki Wakita
Tom Carroll

Plus, Alternates: Mason Ho, Danilo Couto, Michael Ho, Kalani Chapman, Danny Fuller, Ben Wilkinson, Kahea Hart, Ross Williams, Albee Layer, Jamie Mitchell, Alex Gray, Keoni Watson, Koa Rothman, Kealii Mamala, Nathan Florence, Evan Valiere, Mark Mathews, Gabriel Villaran, Billy Kemper, Rusty Long, Kai Lenny, Myles Padaca, Derek Dunfee, Shawn Dollar

Full Eddie site here.

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