The 28th annual Quiksilver In Memory of Eddie Aikau
, a one-day big wave invitational surfing event that requires waves measuring 20 feet or more, is excited to announce its list of 2012/13 Invitees and Alternates. The event holding period begins on December 1, 2012, and concludes on February 28, 2013. The official Opening Ceremony with the Aikau Family will be held on Thursday, November 29, 3pm, at Waimea Bay.
Reflecting the strength and growth of the global big wave brotherhood that was born at Waimea Bay, this year's polling process was turned over to the very surfers who reliably chase the world's most giant swells. Each surfer was able to select their own dream list of Invitees and Alternates. Each surfer's vote was tallied and the highest ranking 24 surfers became this year's list of Invitees. An additional four regional Invitee selections were chosen by Quiksilver, making up the final four of a total of 28 Invitees.
Among those first time Invitees chosen by peer poll this year are John John Florence (Hawaii), Alex Gray (California), and Ian Walsh (Maui).
Quiksilver's Mark Healey surprised Florence at his home on Friday with his official invitation.
"I don't know if I'm more stoked or more scared," said Florence. "Coming up to the day when guys know the swell is coming I'll be super scared, antsy getting my stuff together, super nervous. Hopefully we get a big swell this year.
"My whole life I've been going to the opening ceremony, looking at all the big guys with their big boards, and paddling out to the circle since I was super little.
"Something about Waimea and the way Eddie surfed it back in the day.... all the stories you hear about him, it's just such a powerful place. You can feel it when you're out there. Guys have been surfing that wave for so long it's crazy! To be able to grow up and kind of learn to surf that wave since I was little, and be able to watch the last couple of Eddies has been crazy."
To hear more of John's thoughts on the Eddie, and to see Alex Gray and Ian Walsh receive their invitations, check out the videos.
The Quiksilver In Memory of Eddie Aikau has only been held a total of eight (8) times, most recently on December 8, 2009. California's Greg Long took the honor that year.
Visit the event website & sign up for email alerts to know when The Bay will call The Day.
About Eddie Aikau:
Just 31 years of age when he was lost at sea during an ill-fated voyage of Hawaii’s Hokule’a double-hull sailing canoe in 1978, Aikau was a young man at the height of a career equally dedicated to big-wave riding and lifeguarding at historic Waimea Bay. Filled with a pure passion to ride giant surf, take care of his fellow man, and uphold his Hawaiian culture and family values, Aikau became the benchmark by which all big wave riders are measured. Learn more about Eddie's story.