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’16-’17 Eddie Invitational Called Back On, Roster Announced

Keala Kennelly named first-ever female invitee as alternate

| posted on December 01, 2016

There’s been a bit of financial back and forth between the WSL, Quiksilver, and the Aikau family as to whether the Eddie Invitational would run this year. Negotiations had soured between the Aikaus and Quiksilver, who held the city permit to call The Eddie on for this year, though the permit was considered void without the consent of Uncle Clyde and siblings Solomon and Myra. Failed talks would mean the end of the iconic 31-year-old event, one that has been given the go-ahead just nine times in its history. After some urgent conversation throughout the last month, and with the help of Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell and his City Council, Quiksilver and the Aikau family reached a short-term agreement on Monday to launch the Eddie Invitational waiting period for its 32nd year.

“This is a really special day for all of us, the Aikau family, to really be smiling a lot,” said Clyde in a recent press release. “We’re really proud to announce that, yes, we’re going to have an Eddie big-wave event this year. I think what’s important is that the sponsors finally realized that what is important to this family is larger than all the money you could offer the family, and larger than almost anything – trying to preserve what Eddie Aikau is all about, his legacy, saving lives, helping people is what this family is all about.”

The ceremonial paddle-out for the Invitational is today, December 1, at 3:00pm HAST at Waimea Bay (To see photos from last year’s paddle-out, click here). The waiting period runs from December 1st, through February 28.

Quiksilver recently released the 52-name invitee / alternate list. You’ll find two noteworthy additions this year: (1) alternate Keala Kennelly, who becomes the first female name in the event’s history, and a fitting one – last month, she also became the first women to ride a professionally sanctioned big wave in the Pe’ahi Challenge at Jaws; and (2) Michael Ho, who will surf alongside son Mason and together will form the event’s first-ever father-son pair at The Eddie.

Invitees:

Aaron Gold
Bruce Irons
Billy Kemper
Dave Wassel
Ezekiel Lau
Garrett McNamara
Grant Baker
Greg Long
Ian Walsh
Jamie Mitchell
Jamie O’Brien
Jeremy Flores
John John Florence
Kala Alexander
Kelly Slater
Koa Rothman
Kohl Christensen
Landon McNamara
Makua Rothman
Mark Healey
Mason Ho
Michael Ho
Reef McIntosh
Ross Clarke-Jones
Shane Dorian
Sunny Garcia
Takayuki Wakita
Tom Carroll

Alternates (The alternate invitation list is used to replace injured or unavailable surfers from the invitation list. Alternate invitations are offered in the order set out below):

Luke Shepardson
Kai Lenny
Nathan Fletcher
Noah Johnson
Nathan Florence
Ramon Navarro
Kealii Mamala
Pedro Calado
Jamie Sterling
Nic Lamb
Keala Kennelly
Danilo Couto
Mark Mathews
Kalani Chapman
Ben Wilkinson
Gabriel Villaran
Damien Hobgood
Kahea Hart
Ryan Hipwood
Carlos Burle
Kyle Shipman
Danny Fuller
Anthony Tashnick
Rusty Long