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The Eddie surf contest

It’s back! The Eddie is back! Image: WSL/ Keoki


The Inertia

Remember all that uproar about the Eddie? Oh, it was a pain. The news was up and down and in and out and backward forward and north was south. We heard it would go and then we heard it wouldn’t. Then we heard it would go again then it would not. Finally, after months of back and forths, we were served up the news that the Eddie (definitively) would not go. Well, guess what? It’s going again! “The Aikau’s have partnered with new sponsors to celebrate and honor the life and legacy of our brother, Eddie,” Solomon Aikau said in a news release.

The Eddie Aikau Foundation announced on Saturday that they were bringing the renowned event back. First, let me give you a quick jog of the memory. The whole reason for the Eddie getting the ax came after the Aikau family and Quiksilver, the longtime sponsor, couldn’t agree on terms anymore. “The Aikau family and Quiksilver had a falling out after a series of negotiation attempts to keep the contest alive,” wrote Dylan Heyden in November of 2017. Ultimately, Quik withdrew. Despite legal hurdles, the Aikaus managed to secure this year’s permit from Quiksilver, and earlier this month Clyde Aikau went on record saying, “Even if we have to have coconuts for trophies and you come down with a can of sardines, Uncle Clyde will feed you rice and we’ll have the event.”

Then, however, the family had to kill the event, saying that there simply wasn’t enough time to organize an event worthy of Eddie’s memory. “It really is the most prestigious surf contest in the world. And we did not want to compromise that because it ultimately would be compromising Eddie’s integrity to not do something proper,” said Cynthia Scrima, a spokeswoman for the family, at the time.

Now, the Aikau’s have secured new sponsors, and they’re much more in line with the spirit of the Eddie. Kamehameha Schools, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, and Waimea Valley all threw their hats in the sponsorship ring.

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“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, said to Hawaii News now. “It gives us an opportunity to remind the world as well as our own keiki that our kapuna created this sport.”

The waiting period will kick off December 1, 2018, and run through February 28, 2019. If Waimea gets a swell that produces 20-foot waves that are deemed good enough for Eddie, the contest will run. Since it started back in ’84, it’s only run nine times. As they say, the Bay calls the day.

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