Surf community gathers for opening ceremony of Eddie Aikau contest

Eddie Aikau ceremony (Sunrise 7:40a)

WAIMEA BAY, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - With a large swell moving toward the Hawaiian islands this week, high surf could potentially kick off the Eddie Aikau contest, which was last held in 2009, organizers say.

On Thursday, international big wave riders and other invitees will gather at Waimea Bay for the 30th annual Quicksilver In Memory of Eddie Aikau contest opening ceremony. The surf event takes place when waves meet a 20-foot minimum height – with wave face heights of approximately 40 feet -- during a holding period through Feb. 28. The competition has only been held eight times with its inaugural year at Sunset Beach followed by events at its permanent home of Waimea Bay.

The event honors the surf legend Eddie Aikau, who's known for his respect for the ocean, his concern for the safety of other surfers and the way he rode Waimea Bay on its most giant and memorable days.

The ceremony starts at 3 p.m.

Past winners:

  • 1985/1986 : Denton Miyamura (Haw)
  • 1989/1990 : Keone Downing (Haw)
  • 2000/2001 : Ross Clarke-Jones (Aus)
  • 2004/2005 : Bruce Irons (Haw)
  • 1986/1987 : Clyde Aikau (Haw)
  • 1998/1999 : Noah Johnson (Haw)
  • 2001/2002 : Kelly Slater (USA)
  • 2009/2010 : Greg Long (USA)

List of invitees:

Jamie Mitchell
John John Florence
Kala Alexander
Kelly Slater
Kohl Christensen
Makua Rothman
Mark Healey
Nathan Fletcher
Noah Johnson
Peter Mel
Reef Mcintosh
Ramon Navarro
Ross Clarke-Jones
Shane Dorian
Sunny Garcia
Takayuki Wakita
Tom Carroll
Greg Long
Jeremy Flores
Grant Baker
Ian Walsh
Dave Wassel
Jamie O'Brien
Garrett McNamara
Clyde Aikau
Carlos Burle
Jamie Sterling
Bruce Irons
Aaron Gold

For more information, click here.

Related story: High Surf Advisory in effect for east-facing shores

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