Opening Ceremony of the Eddie Aikau 2012-2013
A very special day Thursday on the North Shore of Oahu with the opening ceremony of The Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau at Waimea Bay. The Eddie is the most prestigious invite a surfer can have and Orange County was represented by three home-grown surfers, Rusty Long, Greg Long and Nathan Fletcher, along with a few transplants to Orange County, Peter Mel, now in Newport Beach, and Hawaiian living legend Mickey Nielson, living in Huntington Beach.
The Eddie Aikau has a waiting period of two months starting Dec. 1 through Feb. 28 and all invitees will get the call a day before the event runs - if it runs - to make their way from wherever they are in the world. The only time the Eddie can run is if the Waimea Bay is breaking 25 feet or above, the last time the Eddie ran was in 2009 and Orange County's own Greg Long won that year. Greg Long from San Clemente told the crowd of a few thousand that that win is the single most important win of his career: "I'm asked frequently about winning the Eddie," Long told the crowd, "and it never gets old telling them it's the biggest event of my life." Long, the winner of the last time the Eddie ran, will be on hand if the bay calls.
On a side note and very personal to me, my younger brother, Lester Falatea is an honored invitee. He was an invitee when he was alive but the bay never called to run. My brother passed Sept. 1, 2008 and the next Eddie ran December 2009. For us surfers the call to the bay is one of the most important calls you can get. Les missed it by one year.