If the Eddie Aikau Big Wave Invitational takes place at Waimea Bay on Sunday for the first time since 2016, the field of surfers will feature something it hasn’t had in nine previous iterations of the event: Women.

Kauai’s Keala Kennelly was invited to The Eddie at the end of 2016, becoming the first woman to ever earn an invite as a non-alternate. However, that event, which was set to take place in the beginning of 2017 did not occur.

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Only big wave surfers earn an invitation to The Eddie, meaning surfers who take on waves of at least 20 feet in height, which is generally rare among prominent female surfers. For instance, Hawaii’s Carissa Moore, perhaps the biggest name in the sport, is not a big wave surfer and thus is not set to compete in The Eddie.

In men’s surfing, prominent male surfers such as John John Florence, Kelly Slater and Ezekiel Lau tend to more frequently double up between big wave and championship tour surfing.

Out of the 40 surfers set to compete in The Eddie this Sunday, six are women. If all goes as planned, they will be the first six women to compete in the prestigious event.

“I didn’t think it was really possible. But when I see now women are invited, it’s different,” said Makani Adric, one of the six women invited. “But we all just have to show what we’re capable of and the big ways we can serve and the amazing things we can do.”

Adric, who was raised on the North Shore, hopes her participation in The Eddie can inspire the youth who one day hope to be in the event.

“I hope younger generations who are watching the Eddie Aikau women, I hope that they open their eyes and really see that if we can do it, they can do it,” Adric said. “And I want to be a good role model to not only the young girls, but young boys as well, and show them that if you put your mind to it and you put in the work, then you can get what life gives you.”