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Quiksilver In Memory Of Eddie Aikau Big Wave Invitational Opening Ceremony

From left; Sion Milosky, Bruce Irons and Makua Rothman at the opening ceremony of the 2010 Quiksilver In Memory Of Eddie Aikau. Photo: quiksilver.com/eddie
From left; Sion Milosky, Bruce Irons and Makua Rothman at the opening ceremony of the 2010 Quiksilver In Memory Of Eddie Aikau. Photo: quiksilver.com/eddie
Ken "Skindog" Collins, Danny Fuller, Jamie Sterling, Nathan Fletcher, and Sion Milosky. Photo: quiksilver.com/eddie
Ken "Skindog" Collins, Danny Fuller, Jamie Sterling, Nathan Fletcher, and Sion Milosky. Photo: quiksilver.com/eddie
Eddie invitee Dave Wassel with Kahu Billy Mitchell. quiksilver.com/eddie
Eddie invitee Dave Wassel with Kahu Billy Mitchell. quiksilver.com/eddie
"The Eddie" invitees from left: Jamie Sterling, Nathan Fletcher, Sion Milosky, Bruce Irons, Makua Rothman, Kala Alexander, Ramon Navarro, and Clyde Aikau. Photo: quiksilver.com/eddie
"The Eddie" invitees from left: Jamie Sterling, Nathan Fletcher, Sion Milosky, Bruce Irons, Makua Rothman, Kala Alexander, Ramon Navarro, and Clyde Aikau. Photo: quiksilver.com/eddie
Eddie invitees from left: Laurie Towner, Keoni Watson, Kelly Slater, Dave Wassel, Chris Bertish, and Mark Healey. Photo: quiksilver.com/eddie
Eddie invitees from left: Laurie Towner, Keoni Watson, Kelly Slater, Dave Wassel, Chris Bertish, and Mark Healey. Photo: quiksilver.com/eddie
Big shakas from perennial Eddie invitee Titus Kinimaka from Kauai. Photo: quiksilver.com/eddie
Big shakas from perennial Eddie invitee Titus Kinimaka from Kauai. Photo: quiksilver.com/eddie
Former Eddie Aikau champion Bruce Irons. Photo: quiksilver.com/eddie
Former Eddie Aikau champion Bruce Irons. Photo: quiksilver.com/eddie
Just to be invited to "The Eddie" is one of the biggest honors in all of surfing. Photo: quiksilver.com/eddie
Just to be invited to "The Eddie" is one of the biggest honors in all of surfing. Photo: quiksilver.com/eddie
Skindog makes a smooth entry into the water as the ceremony heads to the middle of Waimea Bay. Photo: quiksilver.com/eddie
Skindog makes a smooth entry into the water as the ceremony heads to the middle of Waimea Bay. Photo: quiksilver.com/eddie
Sunny Garcia and his Eddie dedicated gun. Photo: quiksilver.com/eddie
Sunny Garcia and his Eddie dedicated gun. Photo: quiksilver.com/eddie

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Recent Eddie invitee Kohl Christensen. Photo: quiksilver.com/eddie
Recent Eddie invitee Kohl Christensen. Photo: photobrent/SPL
Kelly Slater and fellow big wave riders at the opening ceremony for the 2010 Quiksilver In Memory Of Eddie Aikau Big Wave Invitational. Photo: photobrent/SPL
Kelly Slater and fellow big wave riders at the opening ceremony for the 2010 Quiksilver In Memory Of Eddie Aikau Big Wave Invitational. Photo: photobrent/SPL
Bruce Irons gets some support from a fellow Eddie invitee. Photo: photobrent/SPL
Bruce Irons gets some support from a fellow Eddie invitee. Photo: photobrent/SPL
A prayer circle forms in the middle of Waimea Bay to kick off the waiting period of "The Eddie." quiksilver.com/eddie
A prayer circle forms in the middle of Waimea Bay to kick off the waiting period of "The Eddie." quiksilver.com/eddie
Goofyfooted chargers Mark Healey and Keoni Watson. Photo: photobrent/SPL
Goofyfooted chargers Mark Healey and Keoni Watson. Photo: photobrent/SPL
The waiting period for "The Eddie" has officially begun...now all that is needed is a 20-foot swell... Photo: photobrent/SPL
The waiting period for "The Eddie" has officially begun...now all that is needed is a 20-foot swell... Photo: photobrent/SPL
Jamie Sterling would have to be considered a serious contender to win The Eddie...especially with that new 'do. Photo: photobrent/SPL
Jamie Sterling would have to be considered a serious contender to win The Eddie...especially with that new 'do. Photo: photobrent/SPL
Mark Healey may want to put a few fins in his board before the event kicks off. Photo: quiksilver.com/eddie
Mark Healey may want to put a few fins in his board before the event kicks off. Photo: quiksilver.com/eddie

Emotional Time At Quiksilver In Memory Of Eddie Aikau Opening Ceremony

Waimea Bay, HAWAII, December 2, 2010 — The world’s most celebrated big wave riders gathered under heavy skies at Waimea Bay today for the traditional opening ceremony of the 26th annual Quiksilver In Memory of Eddie Aikau, fueled by Monster Energy. December of every year, during the Hawaiian winter, is when attention turns to the prestigious Invitee list of 28 surfers who are asked to ride mammoth waves at Waimea like Aikau did in his time.

But this year it is the fresh loss of former invitees Andy Irons and Marvin Foster, both from Hawaii, that has the surfing world reflecting upon the importance of gatherings like these and the role they play in honoring the past, respecting the present and looking forward to the future.

“It is the passing of these brothers that once again reminds us of the life and loss of Eddie,” said Hawaiian Kahu Billy Mitchell, flanked by the Aikau family.

“But as we stand in this circle, we realize that this circle, like life, is a continuum of those who have gone on already, those who are here, and those young brave surfers yet to come.”

Among those gathered today were defending event champion Greg Long (San Clemente, CA),and former Eddie winners Kelly Slater (Cocoa Beach, FL), Bruce Irons (Hawaii), Ross Clarke-Jones (Australia), Clyde Aikau, Noah Johnson, and Keone Downing (Hawaii).

“Whether the event happens or not, it doesn’t matter because this is the most important part of it: the ceremony,” said former Eddie winner Ross Clarke-Jones, “When the (contest) does happen, it’s extraordinary, it takes it to another level, but this day is guaranteed to happen every year and we’re here together again.

“Achieving the win was something I lived 14 years in the (Hawaiian) islands trying for. But it was a satisfaction point in my life that felt amazing. There’s something so special about this Bay.

“This is my 25th Eddie, I’m 44 years old, and I feel like a kid again.”

The Quiksilver In Memory of Eddie Aikau will be held on one day between December 1, 2010 and February 28, 2011, when waves exceed the 20-foot minimum threshold and Invitees contend for the $98,000 prize purse. Monster Energy will be presenting the Monster Drop Award for the surfer who makes the most critical drop and rides out of it during the event. The judges will determine the winner the day of the competition and will present the chosen surfer with a unique Monster Drop Specialty Award.

Held in honor of the legendary Hawaiian waterman, Eddie Aikau, The Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau gathers the most skillful and dynamic big-wave surfers from around the globe. The Eddie is a surfer’s ultimate challenge, employing unassisted manpower to physically paddle into and ride giant waves.

The Quiksilver In Memory of Eddie Aikau is the world’s longest running and most prestigious big-wave invitational and is the only one sanctioned by the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP), the governing body of professional surfing.

What began as a local tribute to one of Hawaii’s favorite surfing sons in 1984, soon took on a life all its own and the story is the reason why this event continues to grow. Eddie Aikau has come to personify all of the human qualities we honor today: respect, humility, passion, and a love for fellow man. Waimea Bay was the canvas upon which his story is told each year, in his memory. For over 25 years, it is a story that has traversed the globe to touch hearts, minds and imaginations: a life lived with passion, dedicated with meaning, and exited from heroically.

Just 31 years of age when he lost his life in an attempt to save others, Aikau has physically been gone longer – 33 years – than he was here. But far from being forgotten, his life, the waves he rode, and the lives he saved on his ancestral grounds at Waimea Bay have become a part of history, passed on from person to person around the world like a wave seeking shore.

The Eddie has run just eight times in 25 years. You don’t want to miss it when the Bay calls the momentous day. Go to Quiksilver.com/Eddie for swell updates, happenings from the North Shore, and to sign up for text alerts to make sure you’re the first to know when the Bay calls the day!

About Quiksilver
“Quiksilver is committed to providing tools for uncovering, expressing and expanding your personal style. Our aim is to foster the sense of individual expression and excitement – the stoke that is the essence of boardriding*. We’re also here to spread the word because the only thing better than finding stoke is sharing it.

***Boardriding is about timing and style. It’s youthful, active, casual, and free flowing. There is no wrong way to ride a board. The goal is simply to learn, progress, improve, and give it your own interpretation.”

About Monster Energy
Monster Energy supports the sport. Be it big wave surfing, insane distance jumping, MX, rally, SX, MotoGP, road racing, supermoto, off-road, FMX, skate, MTB, rock crawling, wake, mini bikes, snow, BMX – name it – the athletes are rockin’ Monster Energy more than anything these days. Check out all the types – Original Monster Energy, Monster Lo-Carb, Monster Assault, Monster Khaos, Monster’s fruit juice hybrid dubbed “M-80,” the party-friendly MIXXD, the ground-breaking Java Monster premium coffee & cream drink line supercharged with our Monster Energy blend, along with the new Monster Energy “Hitman” energy shot. On the ‘Net at www.monsterarmy.com and www.monsterenergy.com