Since 1985 the Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau Big Wave Invitational has been one of the most prestigious surf contests to exist.
Now, it looks like its existence is in serious jeopardy.
According to KHON 2, the Aikau family and sponsor Quiksilver have parted ways.
Aikau family friend and attorney Seth Reiss told KHON recently, “The family is proud of the event and appreciated the role Quiksilver played. That relationship ended earlier this year. There were substantial discussions between the family and Quiksilver about how the relationship could be continued, but in the end, no agreement was reached.”
The Aikau family also held a press conference and did not talk about the issue at hand, instead they pleaded for the help of Hawaiian lawmakers to continue to remember Eddie Aikau:
As Eddie’s brother Clyde stated, “This is not a day we want to talk issues. When you’re talking about corporate folks, issues are not going to be talked about today. Today is to make a plea to our honorable city council, honorable mayor and any other Senator that can kokua this family.”
Quiksilver issued a press release on Halloween confirming the reports:
Quiksilver had every intent of continuing to run the event it created 31 years ago in partnership with the Aikau family, but Quiksilver’s multiple offers of substantially increased monetary support for future events were declined by agents of the Aikau family over months of negotiations.
Having been run only nine times in its 31-year history, this merely added to the mystique of one of the world’s most important surf contests.
Newly crowned world champion John Florence won last year’s event for the first time, and iterated that sentiment after winning: “I’ve only seen it run a couple of times in my life so to be a part of it, to be surfing in it, and to actually win it is such a dream come true … against all these legends.”
While this seriously puts the contest in jeopardy for this year and future winters, Quiksilver did state in their press release that they would “give the Aikau family its permit to run the event for the 2016-2017 season.”
World Surf League CEO Paul Speaker also chimed in on the Quiksilver press release (as The Eddie had become a WSL-sanctioned event in recent years): “The WSL wishes the Aikau family nothing but future success and our support as it potentially begins the next chapter on this event.”Details are sure to be revealed in the coming days and weeks, as the Aikaus and the surfing world all want to see this illustrious contest continued. But we may never see it in the facet that it once was.
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