In late October it appeared as though the Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau Big Wave Invitational, or "The Eddie" as the 31-year-old competition is commonly known, would come to an end due to disagreement among the partners.
Since 1985 the Aikau family and meet sponsor Quiksilver have collaborated on the event, but reported differences over the future of the contest left the 32nd installment in doubt. Now, Quicksilver and the Aikaus have announced an accord, and the 2016-2017 competition will move forward. An opening ceremony was held Dec. 1 and the contest period lasts through Feb. 28.
Surfers must be invited to participate, and it is only held when conditions surpass 20 feet. For that reason, the competition has occurred just nine times in its three decades of existence.
The World Surf League will produce and manage the event, which takes place in Waimea Bay on the North Shore.
"We are very grateful for the efforts and support of the Aikau family and the World Surf League under the leadership of Paul Speaker who have all worked very hard with our team over the past few weeks to come up with a solution," Pierre Agnes, Quiksilver's CEO, said in a release announcing the 2016-17 event.
"Consistent with Quiksilver and the Aikau family's wishes, we are pleased to confirm that the same stringent condition requirements we instituted when we inaugurated the Eddie 31 years ago will continue this year. We have every confidence that WSL's greater involvement in the event this year will only improve the Eddie's reputation as one of the world's premier surfing contests."
For the first time ever a female surfer, Keala Kennelly of Kauai, was named to the alternate invitees list.
For more about the Eddie click here