WAIMEA BAY, HAWAII - (Feb. 29, 2012) - Winter closed its door on the three-month holding period of the Quiksilver In Memory of Eddie Aikau big wave event today. An active season kept elite big wave riders entertained on Oahu's North Shore but failed to produce the solid day of 20-foot-plus surf at Waimea Bay that 'The Eddie' mandates.
The Quiksilver In Memory of Eddie Aikau was last held in December of 2009, won by California's Greg Long. The world's best big wave riders will have to wait another year. This was the 27th year of the event.
"As much as we'd like to see this dedication run every year, the event is committed to meeting the criteria of 20 feet," said contest director George Downing.
"Those special winters of Eddie-sized waves seem to only come around every three to five years, so a season like this is to be expected.
"On behalf of the Aikau family, we sincerely thank this year's Invitees, Alternates, Quiksilver and the organizing team who remained dedicated and enthusiastic throughout the holding period. We would also like to thank the Hawaii Tourism Authority and the City & County of Honolulu for their special efforts to make this an enjoyable event for all."
This event is a tribute to Eddie Aikau, who rode the mountainous waves of Waimea Bay in the late '60s and early '70s and saved lives as its first full-time lifeguard. He was lost at sea in 1978, west of the Hawaiian Islands during a voyage of the Polynesian sailing canoe, Hokule'a.
Past champions: Denton Miyamura (Hawaii), Keone Downing (Hawaii), Clyde Aikau (Hawaii), Noah Johnson (Hawaii), Ross Clarke-Jones (Australia), Kelly Slater (USA), Bruce Irons (Hawaii), Greg Long (California).
This year's Invitees were: Brock Little (Hawaii); Bruce Irons (Hawaii); Clyde Aikau (Hawaii); Dave Wassel (Hawaii); Greg Long (California); Jamie O'Brien (Hawaii); Jamie Sterling (Hawaii); Kala Alexander (Hawaii); Kelly Slater (Florida); Keone Downing (Hawaii); Kohl Christensen (Hawaii); Makuakai Rothman (Hawaii); Mark Healey (Hawaii); Michael Ho (Hawaii); Nathan Fletcher (California); Noah Johnson (Hawaii); Peter Mel (California); Ramon Navarro (Chile); Reef McIntosh (Hawaii); Ross Clarke-Jones (Australia); Rusty Keaulana (Hawaii); Shane Dorian (Hawaii); Sunny Garcia (Hawaii); Tom Carroll (Australia); Carlos Burle (Brazil); Grant Baker (South Africa); Jeremy Flores (France); Takayuki Wakita (Japan).