It’s been three years (or four seasons) since The Eddie Aikau Big Wave Invitational last ran, and John John Florence won and kicked off his inaugural World Title year back in February of 2016. But this season, Eddie is back. And it has a fresh new makeover.
Announced today, the 2019/2020 season will see 32 invitees and 18 alternates, including nine women competitors – the most female invitees in history. Also, new this season, the competition will feature a legends heat with Waimea Bay stalwarts including Derek and Michael Ho, Garrett McNamara, Peter Mel, and others.
Longtime event sponsor Quiksilver pulled out of the event during the 2017/18 season, and despite efforts to run the contest without their sponsor, the event was canceled for that season. But this year, the Aikau family is back to running their signature event with local support.
“The Eddie Aikau Foundation is excited to have the support of our generous sponsors who have joined us in celebrating and honoring the life and legacy of our brother, Eddie,” said Solomon Aikau in a press release. “This year we honor not only the equality of women in the sport but some of the longtime surfers in the industry.”
Should the necessary 20-foot swell arrive during this season’s contest window (December 1st, 2019 through February 29th, 2020), then the following invitees will be in the water. And regardless of swell, an opening ceremony will be held at the Bay on December 5th.
John John Florence