Well, after a 7 year wait the Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau finally ran for just the 9th time in its 31 year history and it certainly didn’t disappoint. John John Florence has etched his name in the history books, with a last minute victory on a day unlike many have ever seen in their lifetime. Clyde Aikau, the younger brother of Eddie even declared it the best day he had ever seen at Waimea Bay during the last 40 years.
There is no other big wave event quite like The Eddie, the strict criteria and the rarity of a swell big and clean enough to call the event on, create a mystique and a fascination that captures the imagination of millions of surf fans around the world. It is also the reason that every surfer that got the invite gave everything they had, to be a part of the occasion and try to become the 9th winner of the revered competition.
The Eddie Would Go 2016 had everything we could have asked for, from the moment the first heat got underway we were treated to raw emotion, bravery, excitement and tension. With brutal wipe outs, huge drops, a “proper” barrel for Kelly Slater and waves topping 60 feet no one can say the Eddie Would Go wasn’t worth the wait and the organisers certainly made the right call when they cancelled the event in the 11th hour just a fortnight ago.
All competitors in the Edie Aikau Invitational get to surf 2 one hour heats, with their best four waves counted. Each wave is scored out of 100 and it was the Australian Ross Clarke-Jones who scored the highest ride of the day with a 96 pointer, and finished the event in second place, behind John John who racked up a total score of 301.
Any of you who tuned in to catch the live streaming, will know that the action was non stop and there were far too many highlights to detail here, but we have embedded some of our favourite moments below. Congratulations to John John Florence on this historic win, well done to the organisers and the Aikau family on making the perfect call and if it is half as good as this years, we don’t care how long we have to wait for the 10th Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau! Feel free to share your thoughts, favourite moments and comments below.
Photos courtesy of Brian Bielmann/Quiksilver