Did You Hear Kelly Slater Announced His Retirement & The Eddie Aikau Event Won't Run

31 Oct 2016 3

Sally Mac

Coastalwatch Digital Editor

COASTALWATCH | DID YOU HEAR?

Christmas is approaching. Shops have started with their tinsel and we're compiling the 2016 Surfer's Christmas Guide. People are getting busy and time is running away from us all, so you might not have heard over the weekend the haunting yet inevitable announcement from Kelly Slater about his retirement and that there is an issue with the most prestigious event in big wave surfing. So here's what you missed.

KELLY SLATER IN ONE LAST HURRAH

On Saturday 29 October King Kelly took to his Instagram account to make a major announcement, as such is the best way to communicate these days. 

@kellyslater: "My last wave in Portugal the other day. Sick little bank with just (Pat O'Donnell) and myself. Hugely inspired by the young guys on tour these past few months and what John John Florence has accomplished this year. So next year I'm gonna get my shit (and my body) together for real and see if I can make a last run at a title. Then I'll go find the best waves on earth 'til my last day before being freeze-dried and used as plant food to make a Koa tree on my property or take the carbon from my ashes and make a diamond from it for my family. (Don't forget to drop some of me in the tube also!)"

What does this mean? The real end of an era I guess. Taj - gone, Fanning - on leave, Parko - next? At least we now have a bright new hope in the form of one 24-year-old Hawaiian prodigy John John Florence. Will this commitment to one last crack at the title mean we'll see a revived energy and potentially a clean sweep of wins in 2017? 

Kelly Slater's instagram post, Photo by Ryan Miller

Kelly Slater's instagram post, Photo by Ryan Miller

Aikau Family Split From Quiksilver 

It was announced by Hawaii's Aikau family attorney on the weekend, that the commercial partnership to run the iconic and prestigious Quiksilver In Memory Of Eddie Aikau (Won by John John Florence this year) had come to an end. Unfortunately, this also means that the event will not be run this year as the permit for the event only covers the original name and the time frame for application has closed, so even if the Aikau Family or Quiksilver wanted to run the event at Waimea Bay individually they couldn't do it. The City Deputy has said “I would hope that these two parties may be able to work it out,” so that the event can still go ahead.

The Aikau spokesperson said “The family is proud of the event and appreciated the role Quiksilver played. 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.”

Coastalwatch has heard that Red Bull may be in talks with the Aikau family to ensure the event continues to run in future years to honour the memory of Eddie Aikau through the unique invitational, condition-pending competition format. 

John John Florence wins the 2015/16 Quiksilver In Memory Of Eddie Aikau event, Photo by WSL

John John Florence wins the 2015/16 Quiksilver In Memory Of Eddie Aikau event, Photo by WSL


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