The Eddie is on again

Stu Nettle
Swellnet Dispatch

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.

Invitees
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

Male Alternates
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

Female Alternates
Bianca Valenti, Raquel Heckert, Justine Dupont, Silvia Nabuco, Laura Enever

Legends
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.

Comments

mcbain's picture
mcbain's picture
mcbain commented Friday, 8 Nov 2019 at 10:52am

Bring back paddle gloves.

Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean commented Sunday, 10 Nov 2019 at 4:41am

Faced with waves like that, there are situations where you would actually want some!

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Friday, 8 Nov 2019 at 10:53am

Terry Richo is trying to do just that. He's got a few pairs for sale in the surf shop downstairs.

daisy duke kahanamoku's picture
daisy duke kahanamoku's picture
daisy duke kaha... commented Friday, 8 Nov 2019 at 11:13am

Five pictures that stopped me in my tracks:

Brock at the 1990 Eddie
Christian Fletcher's aerial in a pink Lanty wetsuit
Slater's coping slide at Cabo San Lucas
The Laird at Teahupoo
Kieren Perrow under the guillotine first documented session at Shippies

Trentslatterphoto's picture
Trentslatterphoto's picture
Trentslatterphoto commented Friday, 8 Nov 2019 at 11:52am

Tikanui Smith over someone like bierke or hippo is a bit shit those boys have payed there dues on the paddle scene.

saltman's picture
saltman's picture
saltman commented Friday, 8 Nov 2019 at 12:34pm

Agree 100% those guys should at least get alternate status

But instead Ezekial Lau, and Mason Ho ?? Really

bluediamond's picture
bluediamond's picture
bluediamond commented Friday, 8 Nov 2019 at 5:00pm

Mason Ho at 40 second mark. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zNqu01irRzQ
Definitely worthy of his place.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Friday, 8 Nov 2019 at 12:45pm

Seems like the Hawaiian focus has increased. Not such an international contest anymore.

blower's picture
blower's picture
blower commented Friday, 8 Nov 2019 at 12:57pm

Kudos to the Hawaiian focus and those (proud Hawaiian enterprises) prepared to put their backing behind such an iconic gathering for the respectful reason it covets. Great to see it back as a local community event that can only bring pride among the people of Hawaii and should do for the wider surfing community also.
Cmon guys, do we have to go through the whole who's who debate on everything when we all know how surfing events are and always have been run.
ps. Mason certainly didn't shirk his responsibilities to the Eddie last time.
Never forget Eddie and his extraordinary life. Educate yourselves if need be as to the man, his family and the culture this all represents.

Bnkref's picture
Bnkref's picture
Bnkref commented Friday, 8 Nov 2019 at 1:13pm

That's right. Mason holds his own in big surf.

indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming commented Friday, 8 Nov 2019 at 1:08pm

So no longer the Quicksilver, Eddie Aikau

It's the Hawaiian Airlines, Kona Brewing Company, L&L Hawaiian Barbeque, and Turtle Bay Resort, Eddie Aikau.

Wow thats a mouthful.

Island Bay's picture
Island Bay's picture
Island Bay commented Friday, 8 Nov 2019 at 1:37pm

Or maybe just The Eddie?

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Friday, 8 Nov 2019 at 2:05pm

Da Eddie.

goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot commented Friday, 8 Nov 2019 at 9:43pm

Kohl C stiff not to get a run.

Can only squeeze in so many I guess

rooftop's picture
rooftop's picture
rooftop commented Friday, 8 Nov 2019 at 11:14pm

Just watched the 1990 comp on the link above and I have to say, that's some high-quality broadcasting.

Sure, it's a daggy 90's aesthetic with a Wide World of Sport vibe, but somehow they manage to put together a 20 minute edit with enough content to satisfy surfers and enough punchiness to keep the general public engaged.

Tight editing, good water shots, to-the-point questions and even some local history thrown in. It's all there, and all neatly hung on the natural narrative arc of the contest. Wozzle - there's something to be learnt here.

Toppa's picture
Toppa's picture
Toppa commented Saturday, 9 Nov 2019 at 2:51pm

Eddie was a great Hawaiin, read his bio whilst in Hawaii in July. A tragic end to his life whilst voyaging on the traditional canoe Hokule'a. He gave his life doing what came naturally to him, trying to save others. Sounds like they have gone with Hawaiin sponsors over Quiksilver, makes sense as Eddie was at the forefront of promoting indigenous Hawaiin culture.

Toppa

Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean commented Sunday, 10 Nov 2019 at 8:01am

Great book isn't it toppa .

Toppa's picture
Toppa's picture
Toppa commented Sunday, 10 Nov 2019 at 11:07am

Hi Lanky Dean yeah it is a great read. He was a seriously courageous man Eddie.

Toppa

jacksprat's picture
jacksprat's picture
jacksprat commented Saturday, 9 Nov 2019 at 5:57pm

Big boards. Big waves. Real surfing. Very impressive.

onetimeonly

Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean commented Saturday, 9 Nov 2019 at 9:43pm

With the wossell dropping the ball on the big wave stuff.
The focus is back on the Eddie.

zawl's picture
zawl's picture
zawl commented Monday, 11 Nov 2019 at 5:33pm

Shouldn't Kelly be in the legends division?