Photo: WSL / Freesurf/ Keoki
Quiksilver’s longstanding partnership with the Aikau family, and it’s sponsorship of the world’s most prestigious big wave contest, has come to an end.
The split was announced over the weekend by the Aikau’s attorney and friend, Seth Reiss, following months of talks which are thought to have come to a head last week. “The family is proud of the event and appreciated the role Quiksilver played,” said Reiss. “That relationship ended earlier this year. There were substantial discussions between the family and Quiksilver about how the relationship could be continued, but in the end, no agreement was reached.” The Aikau family said that money was not a decisive factor in its decision to part ways with the brand.
It was initially assumed, in light of this development, that the Eddie couldn’t possibly run this winter, even if Waimea Bay were to oblige with the 20ft+ waves stipulated by the rules as a requirement for the contest to go ahead. A permit had already been granted for the Quiksilver In Memory Of Eddie Aikau, a permit that would be invalid without the Quiksilver name, and it is now too late to apply for a new permit.
Since the initial news broke, however, Quiksilver has released its own statement, declaring a willingness for the permit to be put to use this winter, and to be a part of the contest one last time. ”As a company,” said Pierre Agnes, Quiksilver’s CEO, “we have always supported the spirit and culture of the Hawaiian people, of The Eddie, and of the Aikau family. As a gesture of our respect and support we are happy to give our permit to run the event in 2016-2017 to the Aikau family, should the City of Honolulu allow it, and stand by to run the event with the family if they so choose. It is our most heartfelt wish to see the tradition of The Eddie carried on without interruption.”
The press release also spoke of ”multiple offers of substantially increased monetary support for future events that were declined by agents of the Aikau family over months of negotiations.”