Could “The Eddie” go this year?
KHON2 was the first to report that talks broke down after months of negotiation between the Aikau family, Quiksilver, and the World Surf League. The decision to part ways left the iconic Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau Big Wave Invitational in limbo.
A major roadblock: the permit needed to hold the event. Quiksilver currently holds the approved permit for a surf tournament named ‘In Memory of Eddie Aikau’ during the 2016-2017 holding period, and transfers are prohibited.
Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell said city attorneys were working to find a solution so “The Eddie” could go this year.
But on Tuesday, Quiksilver offered up a solution that would not require any legal loopholes.
“Quiksilver appreciates Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s constructive thoughts and proposals on how to work through a potential permit transfer”, said Pierre Agnes, Quiksilver CEO. “But we believe there is an easier solution here. Instead of continuing this cloud of uncertainty and spending money on lawyers over the coming week and months, Quiksilver and the WSL are happy to run the 2016-2017 Eddie with the permit we already have and at no additional cost to the Aikau family or the community. We understand how important this event is to the heritage of the Hawaiian people and how limited state and city funds are. As such, we are committed to continue our 31 years of support of The Eddie. We sincerely hope that the Aikau family will take us up on our offer.”
“Out of respect for Eddie Aikau, the Hawaiian people and the community at large, it is our heartfelt desire to see the tradition of The Eddie carried on without interruption. As a company, we remain committed to working with the family to find a constructive solution to the current legal situation,” said Garry Wall, Quiksilver Global Brand Leader. “Quiksilver has never proposed changing the condition requirements for the competition. We have and always will uphold the same stringent condition requirements we instituted when we inaugurated The Eddie 31 years ago and that make The Eddie one of the premier surf events in the world. If condition requirements are what is preventing the 2016-2017 Eddie from happening, then there is no barrier to the event taking place in the 2016-2017 season. We can surely work out any requirements concerns with the Aikau family and have the exact condition requirements they want.”
The Aikau family is discussing the offer, and we’re awaiting a response.
Beginning in 1985, the Quiksilver In Memory of Eddie Aikau event began at Sunset Beach, then moved to Waimea Bay, where the late Eddie Aikau served as the North Shore’s first lifeguard. Opting only to run when conditions reach the 20-foot-plus range (40-50-foot faces Hawaiian scale), The Eddie has only run nine times in its 30-year history, most recently on Feb. 25, 2016 with winner John John Florence.