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The list of the official 2014/15 invitees and alternates for the 30th annual Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau at Waimea Bay was announced this week. One of those official invitees was Maui surfer Ian Walsh, who will be hoping the 20-foot minimum height requirement will be met this winter, as the event has only been run seven times in its history. Here, Ian provides his top five Eddie Aikau moments, from the time he was a star-struck kid to actual invitee.
Brock Little’s iconic wave in 1990
I was only 7 years old when this all went down, but a few short years later when I really pushed away every other sport to stay in the surf as much as I could; the impact of what he did set in. I used to have a poster on my wall of this shot by Scott Winer and would stare at it every single day. I have still been meaning to get that thing reprinted and signed by Brock, because it has so much relevance to what I dreamed about as a little kid.
Eddie Aikau’s life story
He is an inspiration to so many generations. I have grown up learning about his legacy, and it will continue to inspire many more generations.
The opening ceremony every year
This is a time where everyone gets together to remember how much pure aloha Eddie had, and is a chance to remember some of surfing's other fallen heroes. It is an amazing experience to witness first-hand as a tourist or a competitor. I still feel like a little kid every time I stand next to some of the legends that come down there that day.
My first official Invite in 2008/2009
Being invited each year is still among the greatest achievements of my surfing life, but that first year getting into the event really was one of the biggest honors of my life. My dad even got chocked up when we got the invitation in the mail and that confirmed even more how much this meant to us both.
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Bruce Irons’ winning wave in 2004
Just thinking about when Bruce caught that bomb, connected it to the inside left and pulled into a massive closeout barrel, still lifts the skin on your neck and makes you so psyched to get out there as a surfer.
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