WAIMEA BAY, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Following the loss of a lead sponsor and permitting problems, the family of surfing legend Eddie Aikau says the big wave contest that's named in his honor won't be held this season.
The family says they'll be ready, though, to hold "The Eddie" during the 2018-2019 season.
They're still searching for a lead sponsor.
The Aikaus obtained a permit for the contest this season from the city Department of Parks and Recreation. But in an emailed statement, the family said that with no lead sponsor, they don't have enough time and resources to plan and hold the event this winter.
Earlier this year, Quiksilver stepped away from the contest. The brand had sponsored the contest for years.
"The Eddie is more than just a surf contest, it has become a Hawaiian tradition," the family said, in a statement.
The statement continued: "It is with heavy hearts the Aikau family was forced to make the difficult decision to not hold the Eddie this year due to the unforeseen 11th hour withdrawal of Quiksilver as the Eddie sponsor, and unexpected delays in the permitting process. The family feels there is insufficient time to properly plan and hold the Eddie this year, and lacks the proper resources to maintain the high integrity of this extraordinary Hawaiian cultural event."
The Eddie only occurs when consistent, rideable waves of at least 30 feet are in Waimea Bay during the narrow three-month winter holding period.
The contest was last held in February 2016, and drew crowds of tens of thousands of spectators.