The Eddie Aikau Big Wave Invitational invites a record number of women surfers

The Eddie Aikau Big Wave Invitational

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:

Aaron Gold
Andrea Moller
Ben Wilkinson
Billy Kemper
Bruce Irons
Danilo Couto
Dave Wassel
Eli Olson
Emi Erickson
Grant Baker
Greg Long
Ian Walsh
Jamie O’Brien
Jamie Mitchell
John John Florence
Kai Lenny
Keala Kennelly
Keali‘i Mamala
Kelly Slater
Koa Rothman
Landon McNamara
Lucas Chianca
Luke Shepardson
Makuakai Rothman
Mark Healey
Mason Ho
Nathan Florence
Nathan Fletcher
Paige Alms
Ross Clarke-Jones
Shane Dorian
Tikanui Smith

Male Alternates
Tyler Larronde
Kyle Shipman
Kohl Christensen
Chris Bertish
Chris Owens
Mike Pietsch
Torrey Meister
Alex Martins
Ryan Seelbach
Matt Bromley
Reef McIntosh
Ezekiel Lau
Jamie Sterling

Female Alternates
Bianca Valenti
Raquel Heckert
Justine Dupont
Silvia Nabuco
Laura Enever

Derek Ho
Garrett McNamara
Jeff Clark
Mike Ho
Mike Parsons
Peter Mel
Tom Carroll

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