- Associated Press - Tuesday, November 29, 2016

HONOLULU (AP) - The Eddie Aikau big-wave surfing competition will take place this season now that the legendary surfer’s family and the event sponsor say they have resolved their differences.

Quiksilver and the Aikau family announced in a news release Monday that they have reached an agreement. The deal will allow the 2016-2017 Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau Big Wave Invitational holding period to begin Thursday and last through February.

The move comes a month after the family announced that negotiations with Quiksilver over the event’s permit had failed.

Officials say both sides came together over the past several weeks to avoid an end to the competition’s 31-year history.

“We are proud to see the tradition of The Eddie continue without interruption, a testament to our respect for Eddie Aikau, the Aikau family, the Hawaiian people, and the community at large,” said Pierre Agnes, Quiksilver’s CEO. “Consistent with Quiksilver and the Aikau family’s wishes, we are pleased to confirm that the same stringent condition requirements we instituted when we inaugurated The Eddie 31 years ago will continue this year.”

The Eddie, which has only happened nine times since it began, takes place only when Waimea Bay waves are at least 20 feet high. It’s held in honor of Aikau, a lifeguard and big-wave surfer who died in 1978 after a traditional Hokulea canoe capsized and he paddled away for help.

“This is a really special day for all of us, the Aikau family, to really be smiling a lot. We’re really proud to announce that yes, we’re going to have an Eddie big wave event this year,” said Aikau’s brother, Clyde. “I think what’s real 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.”

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