Huntington Beach, California, November 4, 2008 — Quiksilver is pleased to announce the 2008/2009 Invitees and Alternates for The Quiksilver In Memory of Eddie Aikau and the official launch of the event website at Quiksilver.com/eddie.
Scheduled to take place at the hallowed grounds of Waimea Bay, on the North Shore of Oahu, between December 1, 2008, and February 28, 2009, the event, otherwise known as “The Eddie”, requires one day with a minimum of 20-foot surf (Hawaiian scale) in order to run. It is the world’s most prestigious big-wave surfing event and is the only big-wave surf contest sanctioned by the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP), the governing body of professional surfing.
Held in honor of the legendary Hawaiian waterman, Eddie Aikau, the The Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau gathers 28 of the most skillful and dynamic big-wave surfers from around the world as polled by a comprehensive panel consisting of influential watermen, members of the surf industry, and internationally recognized surfing Associations.
The first memorial event for Aikau was held in 1984 at Sunset Beach, two miles north of Waimea Bay. It was won by local standout Denton Miyamura. Following the inaugural event, The Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau moved to Waimea Bay, where it has remained ever since. 2008 marks the event’s 24th anniversary; in only seven of those years have the waves been big enough and the conditions right to hold the contest.
In the realm of big-wave riding, the name Eddie Aikau commands as much respect as Waimea Bay itself. Aikau was the North Shore of Oahu’s first lifeguard, watching over the Bay when he wasn’t charging the biggest waves of the winter. Tragically, he lost his life in 1978, at the age of 33, during a re-creation of the Polynesian voyage between Hawaii and Tahiti. In huge seas, the voyaging canoe Hokule’a was capsized. Eddie paddled off in an attempt to reach help for his fellow crewmen. He was never seen again but his spirit and legacy live on.
The complete list of Invitees and Alternates for this year’s event are available online here. The website also includes photos and video from previous year’s events, Invitee profiles and swell updates. Visitors can sign up to receive text updates for the “Official Contest Call” and watch online when the Bay calls the day.
Collectible limited-edition The Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau merchandise, including boardshorts, t-shirts, hats, sandals and backpack, are also available online here and in Quiksilver stores.