The Eddie is on again
After a three year hiatus, in which time the sponsors and organisers squabbled over rights, the Eddie Aikau Invitational is back this season.
The format is largely the same in that the swell has to top the 20ft Hawaiian threshhold, however there are some pronounced changes. For one, longtime sponsor Quiksilver are no longer on the roll. Stepping in are Hawaiian Airlines, Kona Brewing Company, L&L Hawaiian Barbeque, and Turtle Bay Resort.
Also, women are now invited to the contest. Four women are in the draw - Keala Kennelly, Paige Alms, Emi Erickson, and Andrea Moller - plus another five on the alternates list.
The openining ceremony is on December 5th, and the waiting period will run for three months from December 1, 2019, through to February 29, 2020.
Aaron Gold, Andrea Moller, Ben Wilkinson, Billy Kemper, Bruce Irons, Danilo Couto, Dave Wassel, Eli Olson, Emi Erickson, Grant Baker, Greg Long, Ian Walsh, Jamie O’Brien, Jamie Mitchell, John John Florence, Kai Lenny, Keala Kennelly, Keali‘i Mamala, Kelly Slater, Koa Rothman, Landon McNamara, Lucas Chianca, Luke Shepardson, Makuakai Rothman, Mark Healey, Mason Ho, Nathan Florence, Nathan Fletcher, Paige Alms, Ross Clarke-Jones, Shane Dorian, Tikanui Smith
Tyler Larronde, Kyle Shipman, Kohl Christensen, Chris Bertish, Chris Owens, Mike Pietsch, Torrey Meister, Alex Martins, Ryan Seelbach, Matt Bromley, Reef McIntosh, Ezekiel Lau, Jamie Sterling
Bianca Valenti, Raquel Heckert, Justine Dupont, Silvia Nabuco, Laura Enever
Derek Ho, Garrett McNamara, Jeff Clark, Mike Ho, Mike Parsons, Peter Mel, Tom Carroll
The contest has only run nine times, and if you want to watch two of the best years, Matt Warshaw has just loaded the 1986 and 1990 contests onto Vimeo. The '86 instalment, hosted by handsome Jack McCoy, features a brutal wipeout by Roger Erickson at 13:05. Erickson's daughter Emi is in this year's draw.
The 1990 contest was won by Keone Downing but is famous for Brock Little's near-make on what was then one of the largest waves attempted - see image above and 5:15 in the video - and also 16:15 for an incredible drop by Richard Schmidt.