HONOLULU (KHON2) — The world’s premier big wave surfing competition is doing things a little differently this time around. For the first time since the contest began in 1984, a new format will be introduced, with seven legends and big wave pioneers taking the first heat of the day. The legends include Derek Ho, Garrett McNamara, Jeff Clark, Mike Ho, Mike Parsons, Peter Mel, and Tom Carroll.
Another new wrinkle to the competition is the record number of female invitees. In 2017, Keala Kennelly was the first female to be invited to the competition, though it never actually took place. But this year Kennelly is joined by Paige Alms, Emi Erickson and Andrea Moller, along with five additional female alternates: Justine Dupont, Laura Enever, Raquel Heckert, Silvia Nabuco and Bianca Valenti.
The Eddie, which takes place at Waimea Bay between December 1st and February 29th, requires swells to be 20 feet and higher in order to be held. As such, it has only taken place nine times: 1985/86, 1986/87, 1989/90, 1998/99, 2000/01, 2001/02, 2004/05, 2009/10, and 2015/16. The most recent winner was Hawaii’s John John Florence.
The opening ceremony to kick-off of the waiting period will be held on Thursday, December 5th featuring a traditional Hawaiian blessing, informational booths, entertainment, and an opportunity for Hawaii’s keiki to visit with their schools.
Formerly sponsored by Quiksilver, this year the sponsors include Hawaiian Airlines, Kona Brewing Company, L&L Hawaiian Barbecue, and Turtle Bay Resort and Waimea Valley.
The full list of invitees is as follows:
John John Florence
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