It all looked bleak for this season's Eddie earlier today after the Aikau family severed its ties with the event's long-term sponsor Quiksilver, prompting organisers to call it off for 2017.
But, hot off the press, Quiksilver has just released a statement saying they'll give the Aikau family the permit to run the event this year, if the City of Honolulu allows it. The permit had been signed and sealed under the Quiksilver name, but with the family and sponsor splitting ways, there wasn't enough time to push through another. Now, there's a glimmer of hope for big wave surfing's premier event.
The press release also states Quik made ''multiple offers of substantially increased monetary support for future events that were declined by agents of the Aikau family over months of negotiations.'' Brother of Eddie, Clyde Aikau, said that money was not a factor that led to the disagreement with Quik.
Pierre Agnes, Chief Executive Officer of Quiksilver said in a statement today: ''As a company, we have always supported the spirit and culture of the Hawaiian people, of The Eddie, and of the Aikau family. As a gesture of our respect and support we are happy to give our permit to run the event in 2016-2017 to the Aikau family, should the City of Honolulu allow it, and stand by to run the event with the family if they so choose. It is our most heartfelt wish to see the tradition of The Eddie carried on without interruption.”
“Quiksilver and the Aikau family have partnered on this special event since its inception in 1985,” said Garry Wall, Quiksilver global brand leader. “It has honored surfing heroes such as Denton Miyamura, Clyde Aikau, Keone Downing, Noah Johnson, Ross Clarke-Jones, Kelly Slater, Bruce Irons, Greg Long and John John Florence—not only world-class watermen, but human beings who embody the spirit of Eddie himself. It was Quiksilver’s sincere hope to continue growing its investment in The Eddie and in the community, and Quiksilver was prepared to commit to a long-term sponsorship of the event. But ultimately, an agreement could not be reached with the new representatives managing the event for the Aikaus.”
Well, seems the Eddie might go after all. All it needs for the 2016/17 season is a sign off from the City of Honolulu and things would be back to normal(ish). Yet, there's still no news on who the headline sponsor will be for future events.