‘The Eddie’ returns with new sponsors, reviving world-renowned surfing contest

The next step: Wait for the bay to call the day.

‘The Eddie’ returns with new sponsors, reviving world-renowned surfing contest

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Eddie is back.

On Saturday, the Eddie Aikau foundation proudly announced the return of the prestigious big-wave surf contest this year.

In 2017, the chance of the contest taking place was shot down after disagreements between the Aikau family and sponsors.

This year, new sponsors have been found, reviving the chance the event will be held if large winter swells roll in.

“The Aikau’s have partnered with new sponsors to celebrate & honor the life and legacy of our brother, Eddie,” Solomon Aikau said in a news release.

Acknowledging Eddie Aikau’s Hawaiian roots, the family is honored to have partnered with new sponsors Kamehameha Schools, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and Waimea Valley.

“What makes us excited is that all of these native Hawaiian organizations and the community are able to come together to create agency in the sport of surfing for native Hawaiians but also for Hawaii,” Kaui Burgess, director of community relations for Kamehameha Schools. “It gives us an opportunity to remind the world as well as our own keiki that our kapuna created this sport.”

Meanwhile, professional big wave surfer Makua Rothman is excited for the competition’s return.

“To have it back is such a joy, such an honor. It is one of the greatest accomplishments of my life just being a part of it and actually finishing in the finals the last time it ran,” Rothman said.

The holding period for The Eddie runs from December 1, 2018 through February 28, 2019. It will be held if surf heights at Waimea Bay reach a consistent 20-feet during that time.

Some 28 skilled surfers and many more alternates are standing by for the call that the competition is on. Those invited include:

  • Grant Baker
  • Lucas Chianca
  • Ross Clarke-Jones
  • Danilo Couto
  • Shane Dorian
  • Nathan Fletcher
  • John John Florence
  • Nathan Florence
  • Sunny Garcia
  • Aaron Gold
  • Mark Healey
  • Mason Ho
  • Bruce Irons
  • Billy Kemper
  • Keala Kennelly
  • Ekeziel Lau
  • Kai Lenny
  • Greg Long
  • Keali‘i Mamala
  • Garrett McNamara
  • Jamie Mitchell
  • Jamie O’Brien
  • Joel Parkinson
  • Makua Rothman
  • Koa Rothman
  • Kelly Slater
  • Takayuki Wakita
  • Ian Walsh
  • Dave Wassel

Since the contest’s conception in 1984, it’s been held nine times with the bay providing sufficient sized swells for the world-renowned contest. 2016 was the last year it was held.

Past winners include Eddie’s brother Clyde Aikau, Kelly Slater, Greg Long, Bruce Irons and John John Florence.

This story may be updated.

Copyright 2018 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.