Friday, December 4th, 2009

The little island of Hawaii was kicking off today and our boy Carlos was there, once again invited, once again humble, once again - amongst every great in the big wave paddle world.

Today’s ceremony was an overwhelming tribute, complete with the original Hokule’a voyaging canoe in Waimea Bay in the midst of a 15- to 18-foot swell. The Hokule’a is a symbol of great Hawaiian pride; a traditional double-hulled vessel that represents the original Polynesian voyage to the Hawaiian islands. It is also the same boat from which Aikau paddled for assistance in 1978, never to be seen again. Hokule’a had capsized in heavy seas in the Moloka’i Channel, injuring crew, en-route to Tahiti.

Clyde Aikau, winner of the 1987 Quiksilver In Memory of Eddie Aikau, today led the paddle-out of this year’s official Invitees and Alternates. Instead of gracing the lineup as they usually do, they circled the Hokule’a and paid respects to Aikau, joined by some of Eddie’s original crewmates on the vessel he loved so dearly.

“Hokule’a and Eddie were all about perpetuating the Hawaiian spirit,” said Kahu Billy Mitchell. “The Hokule’a keeps our culture alive, and Eddie reminds us how.”

Clyde is ready to ride on what he expects to be the swell of a lifetime: “Knowing that it’s probably gonna go, 90%, Monday or Tuesday, everybody’s real jacked, including yours truly. I really think it’s going to be a big one, probably the biggest waves ever for the event. I’ve surfed all the big waves that have come through here - ‘74, ‘69, and this one on Monday or Tuesday should be even bigger than that. If you’re not 101% gas for the day, let somebody else surf.”

Carlos Burle had mentioned that his ‘mind wasn’t on the hype and more on the event, if my mind isn’t in it, I may as well check out, this is going to be big’.

Carlos has been invited for years, but the waves have never been right to run it, it seems as if it’s going to go and every big name is there, Carlos has got the little company of six on his board, we’re with you in spirit homie!!!!!

- Ligia, Carlos’ wife, pregnant with Carlos jr and our next ambassador

- Carlos at the opening ceremony, doing his trademark thing - quiet and focused

- I’m sorry, but I love this guy - so psyched Carlos - Con suerte!!!!!!