BREAKING: Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau Called “ON”

February 25, 2016, 7:56 AM HST · Updated February 25, 4:16 PM
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Crowds gather at Waimea Bay in anticipation for the start of the Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau to commence. Image: WSL/Freesurf/Heff

Crowds gather at Waimea Bay in anticipation for the start of the Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau to commence.
Image: WSL/Freesurf/Heff

John John Florence has taken the title in the esteemed Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau big wave event at Waimea Bay, a feat just eight others have done since the event began 31 years ago.

After eight hours of monster surf, Florence emerged as the winner in 30 to 40 foot waves amid a field of 28 invited competitors.  He garnered 301 points, enough to edge out others on the water today.

Rounding out the top three was: #2 Ross Clarke Jones (AUS); and #3 Shane Dorian (HAW).

The Quiksilver In Memory of Eddie Aikau is a tribute event for native Hawaiian big wave surfer, and early Waimea Bay lifeguard, Eddie Aikau.

This Thursday’s swell is the second of two giant back-to-back swells to hit Oahu’s North Shore this week. The first arrived true to forecast this-morning in the 25- to 30-foot range at its peak, stormy, with shorter period swell as expected.

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The Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau event is “ON” for today as surfers and spectators got the pre-dawn green light indicating the contest would run.

Organizers anticipate 40 to 50 foot face heights with a large incoming swell and expect conditions to hold and meet minimum contest requirements.

This will be just the ninth time the event has been held in its storied 31-year history. The last time was in December of 2008.

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Further details courtesy World Surf League:

The Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau, a WSL Specialty Event, has officially been called ON for Thursday, February 25 at the world-renowned Waimea Bay with an 8am HST start. Conditions are in the giant category with wave face heights of 45 to 55 feet and occasional close-outs across the bay.

The spirited energy can be felt throughout the crowd, which is estimated to be around 20,000 people. Live music resonates across the beach, along with the explosion of waves as they crack off the coastline. As the sun rose over Waimea Valley, surfers, contest organizers and fans alike prepared for a full day of competition in memory of the waterman and legend Eddie Aikau.

“We are proud to tell you that today, Eddie will go,” said Myra Aikau.

The Aikau family gathered with competitors early this morning to address the importance of safety. “Our number one focus is on everyone’s safety, and having a great day of amazing surf that Eddie would be proud of,” said Aikau.

“This is what we’ve been waiting for,” said event director Glen Moncata. ”This is real Eddie. It’s going to be a little morning sick to start as it fills in, but as the trades come on we will be looking at one for the record books.”

The Quiksilver In Memory of Eddie Aikau is a tribute event for native Hawaiian big wave surfer, and early Waimea Bay lifeguard, Eddie Aikau.

Today’s swell is the second of two giant back-to-back swells to hit Oahu’s North Shore this week.

Today’s “Eddie” is being contested by 28 invitees, including defending Eddie winner and BWT current rankings’ leader Greg Long (USA); Clyde Aikau (HAW), Eddie’s brother and winner of the second Eddie event; and 11-time World Champion and 2001/2002 Eddie winner Kelly Slater (USA).

In the six years since this event last ran, technology has advanced considerably in the world of big wave riding and this will be the first year that participants have the option of wearing a specially designed inflatable vest. To ensure surfers safety, Quiksilver has developed in collaboration with Aqua Lung a new generation of big wave equipment, the newly released Quiksilver x Aqua Lung Inflatable Vest. This will be vital equipment for athletes given today’s conditions.

The Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau is being webcast LIVE at WorldSurfLeague.com as well as the WSL app. The event is also being carried by our LIVE broadcast partners Fox Sports Australia, CNS Sports in the United States, ESPN Brasil, Globosat, Edgesport, Sky NZ, Sport TV, Canal + Deportes, Channel Nine, MCS, Starhub, and Oceanic Time Warner Cable 250 & 1250 in Hawaii.

The Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau Heat Draw:

Round 1/Heat 1
Shane Dorian (HAW)
Kohl Christensen (HAW)
Greg Long (USA)
Ramon Navarro (CHL)
Sunny Garcia (HAW)
Ross Clarke-Jones (AUS)
Jamie Mitchell (AUS)

Round 1/Heat 2
Kelly Slater (USA)
David Wassel (HAW)
Grant Baker (ZAF)
Reef McIntosh (HAW)
Jamie O’Brien (HAW)
Aaron Gold (HAW)
Tom Carroll (AUS)

Round 1/Heat 3
John John Florence (HAW)
Mark Healey (HAW)
Clyde Aikau (HAW)
Nathan Fletcher (USA)
Noah Johnson (HAW)
Peter Mel (USA)
Takayuki Wakita (JPN)

Round 1/Heat 4
Bruce Irons (HAW)
Makuakai Rothman (HAW)
Ian Walsh (HAW)
Danilo Couto (BRZ)
Kala Alexander (HAW)
Mason Ho (HAW)
Koa Rothman (HAW)

Round 2/Heat 1
Shane Dorian (HAW)
Kohl Christensen (HAW)
Greg Long (USA)
Reef McIntosh (HAW)
Jamie O’Brien (HAW)
Aaron Gold (HAW)
Tom Carroll (AUS)

Round 2/Heat 2
Kelly Slater (USA)
David Wassel (HAW)
Grant Baker (ZAF)
Ramon Navarro (CHL)
Sunny Garcia (HAW)
Ross Clarke-Jones (AUS)
Jamie Mitchell (AUS)

Round 2/Heat 3
John John Florence (HAW)
Mark Healey (HAW)
Clyde Aikau (HAW)
Danilo Couto (BRZ)
Kala Alexander (HAW)
Mason Ho (HAW)
Koa Rothman (HAW)

Round 2/Heat 4
Bruce Irons (HAW)
Makuakai Rothman (HAW)
Ian Walsh (HAW)
Nathan Fletcher (USA)
Noah Johnson (HAW)
Peter Mel (USA)
Takayuki Wakita (JPN)

Next Alternates
Ben Wilkinson (AUS)
Jamie Sterling (AUS)
Billy Kemper (HAW)
Shawn Dollar (USA)
Carlos Burle (BRA)
Kealii Mamala (HAW)
Gabriel Villaran (USA)
Michael Ho (HAW)
Kai Lenny (HAW)
Kahea Hart (HAW)
Nathan Florence (HAW)
Damien Hobgood (USA)
Kalani Chapman (HAW)
Ryan Hipwood (AUS)
Danny Fuller (HAW)
Nic Lamb (USA)
Anthony Tashnick (HAW)
Rusty Long (HAW)
Derek Dunfee (USA)
Brock Little (HAW) – Honorable inclusion

 

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