Ian Walsh of Haiku is one of 28 surfers invited to the 2012-13 Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau, considered by many to be the world's premier big-wave contest.
"I couldn't be more honored to be in the event," the 29-year-old King Kekaulike High School graduate said Friday. "Thank you to the Aikau ohana and Quiksilver for giving me the opportunity."
This year, selections for the event at Oahu's Waimea Bay were made by the world's elite big-wave surfers. Each created a "dream list," and the highest-ranking 24 from those selections were invited, along with four chosen by the event sponsor.
Ian Walsh has said he “couldn’t be more honored” by his selection for the Quiksilver In Memory of Eddie Aikau.
Association of Surfing Professionals / KELLY CESTARI photo
"That holds so much value as well, to even be considered by those guys," Walsh said.
Walsh must now wait to see if the Eddie will be held for the ninth time in its 28 years of existence. Rules dictate that waves reach at least 20 feet, and the holding period runs from Dec. 1 to Feb. 28.
The Eddie was last held in 2009 - California's Greg Long took the title.
"The history of the event, how far back it goes - I've grown up consumed and being influenced by that event," Walsh said.
Walsh has surfed big-wave locations around the world, but is often found at Peahi, the spot known as "Jaws." Though not a frequent competitor in Association of Surfing Professionals events outside of Hawaii's Triple Crown, he reached the semifinals of last year's Volcom Pipe Pro.