Eddie Aikau big-wave event in serious doubt after sponsorship negotiation breaks down

Hawaii News Now and KHON2 are reporting that sponsorship negotiations between Quiksilver and the Aikau family have broken down once again, jeopardizing the legendary Quiksilver In Memory of Eddie Aikau Big-Wave Invitational for this winter.

Sponsorship terms from last year’s last-minute deal between the Aikau family, Quiksilver and Red Bull ran out over the weekend and negotiations between Quiksilver and the family were ended after the two sides could not come to an agreement.

KHON2 says the Aikau family has released the following statement: “When the family declined to surrender control of the Eddie for five years on the terms Quiksilver was demanding, Quiksilver terminated negotiations.”

While KHON2 states no response has been made by Quiksilver, Hawaii News Now has acquired a statement from a representative of Quiksilver: “Quiksilver has decided that it has run out of time to sponsor the ‘Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau’ big wave surf event for 2017-2018.”

Quiksilver’s Glen Moncata also told Hawaii News Now, “After a long, hard negotiations with the Aikaus, there just wasn’t enough time to put on a proper contest. There’s a lot of preparations involved, and with the passing of time, we don’t think we can put together a proper contest.”

A similar difficulty happened last year when the two sides parted ways around the same time, only to come to an agreement by the end of November.

This allowed the possibility for the iconic big-wave surf contest to run at Waimea Bay, except last winter the green light was never given to run the event. The Eddie only runs when conditions at Waimea Bay are consistent and rideable with a size of 30-feet or bigger. The last time the event was run was in February 2016 when John Florence took the victory.

It remains to be seen if a similar last-minute deal can be worked out this year before the winter, or if the Aikau family can procure another title sponsor before then. Despite this, a first-of-its-kind women’s big-wave event could be happening at Waimea Bay this year.

Stay tuned to GrindTV for updates on this story.

A beautiful moment from the opening ceremony of last year’s Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau Big-Wave Invitational. Photo: Courtesy of Ed Sloane/WSL

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Moments from the opening ceremony for this year's Eddie Aikau Big Wave Invitational