Some words from Matt Pritchard's website:
Wow, what a day it was….. Some great action going on at Hookipa yesterday! Was pretty stoked to see my bro turn it up and do what he knows how to do. He had the toughest 2nd heat I have seen ever- kinda like a final in all reality. Jason Polakow decided to enter last minute and with no ranking he was just thrown in the mix and like what always has happened at Hookipa in the past, the local rippers end up going against the top seeds early on! There are too many great heats and great sailors to mention all of them so just keep your eye on the LIVE FEED coming from the AWT site.
For all of you guys that have ever taken a lesson or clinic with me and heard me tell you to get your weight more forward and front arm extended….. Here are couple pics that really stood out to me! One is of Kev and the other is of Levi. They are controlling the rail and utilizing SPEED to their advantage.
Report from the AWT site:
What an incredible day we had at Ho’okipa yesterday for Day 4 of the Maui Makani classic! The swell had dropped off but was still substantial enough to provide some logo to mast high sets. The wind pushed through by mid afternoon and most men had rigged 4.7 – 5.0 with the women chosing 3.7- 4.2. It was an emotional day for former world champ and Maui local Kevin Pritchard as he hammered through heat by heat and finally grabbed the title at Ho’okipa for the single elimination.
Heat 14 Kicked off with Bernd proving why, at the age of just 16 he is a total force to be reckoned with. He seemed fearless in his timing and super fluid and confident and sailed into the next round. The winner of the heat was Moroccan hero Boujmaa Guillol who, as usual, went all out with some nail bitingly late aerials and heavy gouges, and cruised through the heat ahead of Fabrice Beaux who put on an impressive show but just missed out on progressing.
Heat 15 was epic. Lenny vs Browne vs Goya vs Jazz. This was a serious showdown and making it through this heat demanded something special. Lenny had some fluid rides as usual but he was out done by Marcilio Browne who hammered out huge goitres and aerials, paired with a really smooth surf style to take the win over Francisco Goya who came in 2nd and also progressed after he schooled the younger guys in how experience and talent are a lethal combo.
Heat 16 was a huge showdown, Polakow vs Pritchard vs Siver and Ray….. what a show! Siver was on fire and took the heat win with Kevin Pritchard in 2nd. This was the heat where Pritchard started stepping up his game and just seemed to be in that head space where he was going for broke and giving it everything he had. Unfortunately after a stellar performance yesterday Polakow couldn’t quite find the waves he needed. Bad luck meant most of the waves he selected, though the biggest, ended up closing out on him and he failed to progress.
Heat 17 was extremely tight for 2nd and 3rd place. The outright winner was freestyle pro Bryan Metcalf Perez who wowed the judges with the best wave selection and also some massive goitres and clean, huge aerials. A tight decision between Swift and Mershon as both had decent waves but it was Robby Swift who advanced in the end
Heat 18 was a close call too, but local guy Nat Gill was on fire and began his mission to the final and came 1st ahead of Kai Katchadourian who ripped as usual
Heat 19 was super tight again. The swell was still beefy and the wind was mounting. Legend Josh Stone was super impressive and was just very narrowly beaten by Bernd who came 2nd behind a lethal Juban who dominated the heat.
Heat 20 featured another who’s who of sailors and was extremely difficult to pass through. Brawzinho took the win with his fearless goitres and a taka just ahead of Pritchard who at this stage was gaining seriuos momentum. Siver just didn’t have the heat he was hoping for and was placed in 3rd and therefore out of the single elimination
Heat 21 showed why Nat Gill was a world class sailor as his balsy style pushed him ahead of Swifty who held on to 2nd place after a typically solid performance.
The first semi final was incredible to watch, at this stage it was anyone’s guess who would make it through as so many huge names had already been knocked out. Bernd came into his own in this heat and took out defending champion Juban and world class sailor Browne. No one could deny this kid ripped and made his aerials, goitres and big punchy hits look like a walk in the park. Juban also wowed and most spectators were stunned by the skill level in this heat from the 3 guys.
The 2nd semi final saw Pritchard on a mission. Dominating with a mix of local knowledge, confidence, skill and great timing he cruised into the final ahead of Nat Gill who gave Swifty a run for his money and narrowly beat him to also make the final which was well deserved after his performances throughout the single elimination
The final was run in classic Ho’okipa conditions. The guys were on a very varied size of sail. Bernd on his tiny 3.8m and Camille changing mid way through the heat from his 4.7 to 4.2 as the wind mounted. Pritchard and Gill chose to ride sails in the 5.0 and up range for strong powerful riding. For the majority of the heat it was anyone’s guess who would take the win. Bernd sailed the heat of his life and could easily have taken the win. But Pritchard was on a mission. He had a point to prove, and prove it he did! He was unstoppable in his wise wave selection and massive, confident aerials. Camille impressed hugely too, proving how consistent he is and making it to the final yet again this year at Ho’okipa. Gill rode strong and proved he deserved to be in the final. Results of the single were 1st Kevin Pritchard, 2nd Bernd Roediger, 3rd Camille Juban, 4th Nat Gill
Some earlier heats:
Heat 1 saw defending champion and title contender Camille Juban prove why he is such a force to be reckoned with. Picking off bombs and catching multiple waves with aerials and style he gave the judges a lot to work with and cruised into the nest heat. Legend and super nice guy Josh Stone proved how experience at Ho’okipa pays off as he pitted his old school knowledge against Juban’s new school style and also went straifght through the heat after a very impressive opening performance.
Heat 2 saw an extremely impressive performance from Morgan Noireaux who caught bomb after bomb and boosted some big aerials to come 1st in the heat against another legend of Ho’okipa and old school master that is Pascal Hardy who proved he still has incredible style and courage on the waves and took 2nd place to advance through to the next round.
Heat 3 saw young gun Bernd Roediger absolutely rip and put on one of the performances of the day to take the win in his heat. At the age of only 16 this kid rips and was for sure one of the stand out sailors of the day. Taking 2nd place was Moroccan sailor Boujmaa Guillol who sailed to his usual reputation of going super big and super ballsy and rode some really big sets to help him pass to the 2nd round. Unfortunately Nico took some trips on the rocks and became the first of many, many sailors to take a beating on the infamous Ho’okipa rocks.
Heat 4 saw French man Fabrice Beaux also put in a very impressive performance, picking off the best waves of the sets and using them to their maximum by carving out huge turns and also some impresive aerials. Nick Warmuth also did enough to impress the judges and passed through to the 2nd round
Heat 5 saw the swell start to increase and the conditions became gnarlier as the tide pushed in and the current increase substantially. Marcillio Browne put on another one of the day’s stand out performances with a really fluid style and gutsy hits on big sections. He was followed in 2nd place by Jazz who proved himself by tackling some huge sets and sailing very consistently
Heat 6 saw 2 absolute legend of the sport go head to head. New school waterman Kai Lenny took 1st place after what was definitely in the top few stand out performances of the day. His local knowledge and surfing fluidity mixed with amazing agility and skill wowed all the spectators on the hill and the judges and he took 1st over old school hero Fransisco Goya. Goya showed no fear in smacking some of the biggest hits of the day and also a wonderful style on the wave to help him pass into round 2.
Heat 7 saw the Ho’okipa master to take to the water in one of the most anticipated performances of the day. Levi Siver absolutely shredded. He never once faultered in the seemingly impossible conditions, as by now the swell had grown with some double mast high sets. As usual Siver schooled the crowd on how to conquer Ho’okipa and the judges rewarded him with 1st place in the heat. Taking 2nd was a notable performance from Frenchman Leo Ray who cruised into the 2nd round also.
Heat 8 pitted 2 genuine windsurfing legends against eachother; Jason Polakow and Kevin Pritchard. Jason absolutley stunned the crowd with the most gutsy, consistent, huge aerials of the day. What seemed gravity defying proved achievable by Polakow’s pure strength and courage and the crowd were left open-mouthed after his performance. Pritchard found his feet towrads the end of the heat and used his classic, fluid, natural style to lay down some amazing bottom turns and really surf the huge waves from beginning to end.
Heat 9 saw Nathan Mershon put on a solid performance with consistent riding and multiple waves, some double mast high, and he cruised into the 2nd round after taking 1st place in the heat. Brian Talma of Barbados was unlucky with his timing and got caught on the inside in the super light winds, which was becoming a theme for most sailors at this stage with near to no wind on the inside and heavy sets matched with huge currents pushing them either onto the rocks or down to Lanes. He unfortunately took a trip on the rocks and did not progress through. However Bryan Metcalf Perez, the freestlye champ from the Gorge proved he also has huge skills in the waves and put on a very solid, confident performance to take him into round 2.
Heat 10 saw Robby Swift using his local knowledge and skills in huge waves to sail really consistently and gouge out some big, heavy turns. But the man of the moment and the guy everyone was talking about afterwards was Rudy Castorina who boosted the ballsiest, biggest, most insane aerial of the day on a doube-mast high wave and landing cleanly out the front. This, paired with epic riding pushed him into 1st place for the heat.
Heat 11 saw an amazing performance from Simmer man Kai Katchadourian. For sure one of the most solid, consistent performances of the day. He stood out as the sailor of his heat with huge wave after huge wave that he tore to shreds. Coming 2nd was also a very notable performance from Aurelian Nichol who proved he was one to watch for the upcoming round 2. Unfortunatley Italian Loffreda was stuck downwind and ended up taking a trip on the rocks, resulting in a broken boom and mast and a bruised nose.
Heat 12 was the last heat of the 1st round and we saw Fransisco Porcello dominating on his Simmer gear and showing how experienced and confident he is in huge swells. He took 1st place over Nat Gill who came in 2nd after 2 solid wave rides and closely edging out Gorge sailor Casey Hauser.
Heat 13 was the last of the day and by far the most impressive. Everyone watching was stunned as Josh Stone proved beyond doubt his legendary Ho’okipa status. Boosting a Gigantic aerial off a double mast high wave and landing cleanly in front of the crowds. Everyone was stunned. Closely followed by Camille who again showed no faultering in his style and consistnecy to take 2nd place. This was narrowly taken over an extremely strong performance by Morgan Noireaux and Pascal Hardy. This heat proved that even by the 2nd round of this contest the competition is fierce and it takes something really special to progress through.