Day 6: The sailors warm up for what is set to be an enthralling PWA double elimination
The sixth day of the JP Aloha Classic saw the AWT resume after the PWA fleet were released at 10 AM, due to the wave quality not living up to yesterday’s high standards and with an epic forecast for the remainder of the week the decision was made to delay the start of the double elimination. With plenty of downtime we caught up with Kauli Seadi - who finished second in the single elimination in his first event of the year - and also had a quick chat with Marcilio ‘Brawzinho’ Browne...
PWA: This was your first PWA event of the year, how did you find it competing again?
KS: “It was awesome to be able to compete in real wave riding conditions again, especially on Maui which is the Mecca of windsurfing!”
PWA: You finished second in the single with some amazing sailing... How are you feeling after yesterday?
KS: “Definitely super happy with my result, especially since the last 5 months I was on a boat before this event, and I was not windsurfing that much because the wind at most of the spots we went to once we passed Joao Pessoa was lighter and more onshore, so it was more SUP and kitesurfing conditions.”
PWA: What equipment were you on?
KS: “I was using my Quad 82 and also my Hot Sails Maui KS3 4.9m². It was good all the way through the day.”
PWA: If you had to pick someone who could back through the double, who would you guess?
KS: “I would hope for Brawzinho and Ricardo, but really, there are so many good guys that it is so hard to say.”
Marcilio ‘Brawzinho’ Browne reflects on his performance yesterday:
MB: “In the first heat I was just having fun and on the second one I think I was thinking a bit too much and got stressed out. I am looking forward to reset and start fresh for the double.”
The forecast for tomorrow looks excellent with a slightly longer swell period and similar winds to today - around 20 knots. The skippers’ meeting will be held at 10 AM tomorrow morning with a first possible start of 10:30 AM. Will the title contenders be able to fight back? Find out by watching the incredible action as it happens via the livestream on the PWA World Tour website!
The wind and wave Gods were shining over Ho’okipa Beach Park on the fifth day of the JP Aloha Classic - presented by Nalu Kai - as the PWA single elimination was completed in epic conditions. Just as the forecast predicted the wind and waves built throughout the day, and by the time the competition was reaching its climax, the swell was pumping with over mast high sets rolling into Ho’okipa, providing a pulsating finale to a enthralling day. Levi Siver sailed superbly and he was rewarded with victory at the end of the single elimination. Will the American be able to hold onto his single elimination JP Aloha Classic crown?
PWA Single Elimination - Final
The final was run as a four-man battle over the duration of 22 minutes to give Kauli Seadi, Morgan Noireaux, Bernd Roediger and Levi Siver the maximum chance to really exercise their prowess, and they duly obliged. Siver opened with two aggressive hacks and a trademark tweaked aerial - a wave that wouldn’t count in the end, but a strong start all the same - whilst Noireaux boosted an aerial of his own and a backup slash. In the meantime Roediger combined a couple of setup turns with a sleek one-handed aerial, whilst Seadi bided his time by tacking off his opening wave. The three-time world champion's patience was soon rewarded though as he racked up the highest scoring wave of the heat, consisting off a huge aerial off the critical section, which he then backed up with a gouging turn which broke out the fins before adding a couple more of his trademark, fluid hacks. The Brazilian was leading the heat right until the final moments, as he showed off more of his super fluid riding, but with all three of the remaining riders in contention it was a precarious position to be in.
Levi Siver upped his game as he hunted out a mast high bomb. The American then delivered one of his stunning trademark aerials and a couple of turns, which sent the spray flying by the bucket load. Roediger and Noireaux were also going for broke at the same time as they attempted air takas and frontside wave 360s respectively, but ultimately it was Levi Siver who stepped up to the plate. On his final wave of the heat, Siver lined up the critical section to launch into a frontside 360, which he claimed, before delivering another gouging turn. With no time remaining, Seadi tacked onto the final wave of the heat and rotated through a perfectly executed goiter, but it wasn’t a counting wave for him, which left for a nail biting finale. The result proved to be almost inseparable with just 0.02 of a point in it, much to the delight of Siver it was soon revealed that he had clinched the single elimination victory from under the nose of Seadi, whilst Roediger and Noireaux finished in third and fourth respectively.
Levi Siver speaks after clinching the JP Aloha Classic Single Elimination:
“You know we are here with the best people in the world at the best beach in the world and Ho’okipa went off today! I just tried to give it my best and try not to think too much when I was out there. I just wanted to have fun, enjoy it and keep improving. Like I’ve already said I was really competing the whole time, I just told myself that I want to enjoy it. At the end of the day we’re all friends who love this sport and I think we should keep that spirit of Aloha, and just keep encouraging each other. I’m feeling really humble, there’s so many good sailors and they are all first place in my eyes, they all rip so hard! Thanks to everybody!”
Title Challengers Fall Early
With such an incredibly loaded first round their were some unbelievable battles, which resulted in inevitable upsets and potentially title changing results. Right from the word go the PWA regulars began to fall, firstly with the likes of Ricardo Campello and Klaas Voget losing out to Kevin Pritchard and Russ Faurot, who made an impressive debut on the PWA World Tour. In the very next heat the 2010 PWA World Champion - Victor Fernandez - was the next big name to fall as Kauli Seadi returned with a vengeance in his first PWA event of the year, and the AWT JP Aloha Classic champion Bernd Roediger prevailed in a tightly fought contest.
Robby Naish’s return to the competition scene for the first time since 2000 resulted in him narrowly missing out in the next round. Alex Mussolini pulled it out the bag to knock Naish out with an exquisite frontside 360 right in the pocket of the wave. The current Top 10 in the world weren’t safe there either as Thomas Traversa, Leon Jamaer and the reigning world champion and current world tour leader Philip Köster all took first round exits, and they’ll now have to wait for the double elimination to start their fight back.
Marcilio ‘Brawzinho’ Browne looked in impeccable form in his opening heat as he combined powerful, vertical turns with a stunning air taka to rack up one of the highest scores of the day. Unfortunately though in the next round, the Brazilian couldn’t repeat his performance as he missed out on a place in the top eight to Morgan Noireaux and Graham Ezzy.
Josh Angulo caught the attention of the crowds and the judges as he instantly hooked back into his Ho’okipa rhythm to show exactly why he was the last winner of an Aloha Classic. Angulo carved powerful turns with his trademark one-handed aerials to book his place in the Top 8. The man from Cape Verde narrowly missed out on a place in the final - just 0.73 of a point in it - and he easily possesses the weapons to storm back through the double.
Wave of the Day
Not only did Levi Siver win the single elimination, but fittingly he also connected the best wave of the day in Heat 13. Siver selected an over mast high bomb and showed no hesitation of charging straight for the lip as he projected a monster aerial and a couple of radical, vertical hacks to earn 9s across the board from the judges.
The forecast for tomorrow looks almost as identical as today, meaning that we should see more stunning action as the elite of the wave sailing world prepare to do with Ho’okipa once more. The skippers’ meeting for tomorrow morning has been called for 10 AM with a first possible start at 10:30 AM.
Results After Single Elimination:
1st Levi Siver
2nd Kauli Seadi
3rd Bernd Roediger
4th Morgan Noireaux
5th Matt Pritchard
5th Josh Angulo
7th Kevin Pritchard
7th Graham Ezzy
Day four of the JP Aloha Classic, presented by Nalu Kai, started in bizarre fashion as two winds battled against each other throughout the morning. In the end the regular trade wind prevailed - starboard tack - and continued to build through the afternoon, which saw the youth’s AWT contest begin. After three solid hours of competition the youths have now been whittled down to the top four sailors, and the final will now be sailed at a later date which is still to be confirmed.
The youths proved today that windsurfing is in safe hands for the future with an abundance of talent waiting in the wings. Casey Rehrer was the standout sailor today as he successfully navigated his way into the final with a display of sailing beyond his years.The sixteen-year-old impressed the judges with his excellent wave selection and execution. Rehrer was able to link together fluid vertical turns in the critical section to win each of the three heats he sailed. Closely behind Rehrer in the top half of the draw was the son of the legendary Josh Stone, Harley Stone, who saw off the tough competition of Ridge Lenny and Justin Denel to advance into the final.
In second semifinal Tom Juban sailed his way to victory as he combined powerful turns with an aerial or two. The remaining spot for the final saw an incredibly tight call between sixteen-year-old Fiona Wylde and eight year old Daniel Wiley. After some deliberation it was eventually revealed that Wylde had just edged the duel to book her place in the final. Wylde impressed for the entire day with her powerful and slashy turns catching the attention of both the crowds and the judges. Wiley proved that he’s a real talent for the future and a name that we are bound to hear more and more over the next few years.
The forecast for tomorrow still looks excellent and it looks as though we will see more brilliant sailing at Ho’okipa, with a larger swell and longer period expected to hit the Hawaiian shores. The skippers’ meeting for tomorrow shall take place at 10am with the action kicking off from 10:30am onwards. The anticipation and excitement around Maui is starting to build with the strong possibility that tomorrow could see the single elimination of the JP Aloha Classic PWA World Cup - in association with the AWT - begin. With the biggest names in windsurfing going head-to-head right from the word go you can’t afford to miss one heat.
The third day of the JP Aloha Classic saw extremely light winds meaning that no competition was completed today. With a deteriorating forecast for the afternoon and a distinct lack of wind in the morning the sailors were released at 11 AM. However, it was still another beautiful day in Maui with wall-to-wall sunshine and a small swell still running, which tempted many of the locals out onto the water to enjoy the glorious weather.
The forecast for tomorrow is better than today with the wind back in the correct direction for the local effect to take control, if we are fortunate. Looking beyond tomorrow the forecast looks fantastic from Monday onwards with increasing wind and swell as the week progresses, which should translate into an amazing remainder of the contest.
On Sunday we will be having a look at the crunch battles, which sees some unbelievable ties including a few heats of death, ensuring upsets and drama that will make for riveting drama both on and off the water.
The skippers’ meeting tomorrow morning shall be held at 10 AM with the action commencing from 10:30 AM if conditions allow.
Ho’okipa Beach Park delivered the goods for the second successive day of the JP Aloha Classic. The wind started to build very early on again and with the waves still kicking around the AWT Pro Fleet resumed just after 10:30 AM. The conditions today were slightly more challenging - especially to begin with - due to lighter winds and more time between the sets - meaning that patience and wave selection was crucial in order to advance. After another full day of competition Bernd Roediger eventually came out on top in the AWT.
AWT Pro Fleet - Final
The center piece of the day saw the heat duration extended to 22 minutes - rather than the 16 minutes in the earlier rounds - and it was a sight to behold as Bernd Roediger, Levi Siver, Keith Teboul and Camille Juban put on a scintillating display of sailing, which saw the winner clinch the victory by half a point. The extremely close decision was between Siver and Roediger who went blow-for-blow with each other for the entire 20 minutes. In the end, Roediger did just enough to come out on top as he landed an amazing air taka and a solid hack on his second wave, before later adding several waves with super stylish aerials combined with a head throw to impress both the judges and a packed out crowd. Siver in the meantime was boosting trademark tweaked aerials at will, together with his irresistible surf-esque style on the wave. The American also landed an exquisite frontside wave 360 - landing out in the flats - but unfortunately for him it wasn’t quite enough and he’ll now have to wait until the PWA main draw begins to exact revenge. Camille Juban finished in third place, whilst Keith Teboul claimed fourth respectively.
Elsewhere Graham Ezzy produced more fantastic sailing today, but just missed out on a place in the final. The American landed an effortless taka, frontside wave 360 and a goiter in one heat to show that he really meant business, but unfortunately he couldn’t produce the same performance in the semifinals. However, Ezzy booked his place in the PWA main draw and has already shown that he will be a major threat and one sailor to watch very carefully over the coming days.
Matt Pritchard and Kevin Pritchard also sailed extremely well today as they demonstrated their expert local knowledge of Ho’okipa to pick out the best waves before unleashing powerful cutbacks and brilliant one-handed aerials. The brilliant brothers made it all the way to the semifinals before both narrowly missing out in a a place in the final. Just like Ezzy though, we will see them both later in the event again and either one of them are more than capable of going all the way.
All but two spots have now been decided for the PWA main draw and to decide who clinches the last two places there will be a four man sail off with the top two advancing, which will be completed as soon as the conditions allow.
The forecast for tomorrow doesn’t look as promising as the last two days, but anything can happen. The skippers’ meeting has been called for 10 AM with the action commencing from 10:30 AM, if conditions allow.
After a brief wind drought prior to the JP Aloha Classic beginning, there was a slight concern as to whether the wind would arrive. Thankfully though the wind Gods had clearly read the script as the wind kicked in early at Ho’okipa Beach Park on the inaugural day of the JP Aloha Classic PWA World Cup. With an excellent swell running too - in the region of head to logo high - head judge Duncan Coombs made the decision to begin the qualifying rounds to the main draw as the AWT Pros hit the water. Due to light winds - 10 to 17 knots - no jumps were included in the judging criteria meaning that today saw a fantastic, purely wave riding contest with two waves to count over a 14 minute period.
AWT: Pro Fleet
Today saw the opening two rounds of the AWT Pro fleet completed meaning that we are now down to the Top 32 men, who are vying for the remaining spaces in the PWA main draw.
There were several standout sailors over the course of the day, but it was Graham Ezzy who really stole the show. In his opening heat against Tom Juban and Alex Bitoun, Ezzy accumulated the highest scores of the day with a terrific display of sailing. On his opening wave, the American rotated through a textbook goiter to immediately set the tempo. On his very next wave Ezzy opened with an exquisite, vertical top turn before sliding through a super stalled taka. Although it didn’t count, Ezzy also landed a perfectly executed pushloop.
Camille Juban was another standout sailor as he boosted aerials at will combined with aggressive, vertical snaps to safely advance into the third round. Levi Siver also delivered a good performance as he delivered trademark tweaked aerials with silky smooth turns and he’ll now face Justin Denel in the third round.
Kevin Pritchard made no mistake in the second round, after narrowly losing out to his brother Matt Pritchard in the opening round, as he defeated Pascal Hardy and Jeff Henderson in Heat 21. The 2006 PWA Wave World Champion pulled off trademark aerials right in the critical section as he laid it all on the line to guarantee himself a place in the Top 32.
The closest heat of the day involved Sean Aiken, Bryan Metcalf-Perez and Jeff Henderson in Heat 11. By the end of the heat, Aiken and Metcalf-Perez were almost inseparable, but unfortunately for Metcalf-Perez, Aiken just edged the dual due to his higher individual wave score.
The most unlucky sailor of the day was Jose ‘Gollito’ Estredo, who having flown in from Venezuela had to miss out on sailing after his kit failed to arrive on time, all but ending his hopes of qualifying for the main draw.
The forecast for tomorrow looks very similar to today, which hopefully means that we should see the conclusion of the AWT Pro Fleet and in doing so find out who will be claiming those prestigious final places for the PWA main draw. The skippers’ meeting for tomorrow morning has been called for 10 AM with the action commencing from 10:30 AM.
The time has finally arrived for the PWA to return to the windsurfing Mecca of Maui - in association with the American Windsurfing Tour (AWT). That’s right! From the 24th October to the 6th November, the elite of the wave sailing world shall be once again be descending upon the wonderful shores of Maui - for the first time in seven years - as the JP Aloha Classic takes place.
Ho’okipa Beach Park, Maui, Hawaii is quintessentially the home of windsurfing. A place any windsurfer has hopes, dreams and aspirations of visiting at some point during their lifetime. What with its stunning year round weather, its lush tropical scenery and of course its world-renowned trade winds which are so often combined with some of the best waves in the world, on its turquoise blue water, create spectacular and unbeatable windsurfing conditions for the most radical sailors in the world to show exactly what they can do.
Ones to Watch
Maricilio ‘Brawzinho’ Browne will enter Maui as one of the favorites. Not only did the Brazilian claim his first ever victory on the PWA Wave World Tour at the PWA Cold Hawaii World Cup in September, but he is also lucky enough to be able to call Maui home and is always one of the standout sailors at his home break. Expect to see super aggressive wave rides combined with huge air takas and radical frontside wave 360s. Browne will also be major threat in the air with double forwards and insane pushloop forwards in his arsenal.
There has been much talk before the event about Philip Köster, with regards as to whether the Wonder Kid will be able to match his spectacular port tack performances. The word on the ground is that Köster is still absolutely ripping and he certainly can never be ruled out of clinching another event victory. Whatever happens results wise, we are bound to see another brilliant display of sailing and if we’re lucky enough maybe we could even see a double forward off the lip!
Occupying second in the overall rankings, just behind the reigning world champion Philip Köster, is the hugely talented Alex Mussolini who completed the podium in Denmark. The Spanish maestro is equally at home on starboard tack as he is on port and with the emphasis likely to be on wave riding at Ho’okipa, Mussolini will no doubt fancy his chances of attacking the top of the podium again with his seamless, fluid style impressing the judges and the crowds time-and-time again. Fellow teammate and friend Thomas Traversa will also be licking his lips ahead of the event. The Frenchman excels in huge waves and he’ll be hoping for a monster swell to hit Ho’okipa so that he can show his prowess again starboard tack, having won the last Red Bull Storm Chase in gnarly port and starboard tack waves in Tasmania.
When you think of starboard tack jumpers, there are very few who can challenge the no fear, radicalness of Boujmaa Guilloul. The Moroccan narrowly escaped death in his pursuit to the push the level even higher with a triple loop attempt gone wrong, but that doesn’t seem to have affected his mindset. Guilloul has moves such as his trademark blackshot. Combined with perfect double forwards and he’ll also be boosting huge aerials over the critical section as he goes for broke.
The Aloha Classic really is an event where over a handful of riders can realistically all win. Take for example the 2010 PWA Wave World Champion Victor Fernandez. The Spaniard will be looking to tear the waves apart by throwing smooth takas and radical frontside 360s. Maui is also a second home for Robby Swift, who will be looking to continue his miraculous comeback, which saw him claim fifth in Denmark. Swift will be looking to boost through double and pushloop forwards, before slashing the wave to pieces with radical air takas and frontside 360s thrown in for good measure too.
As the first Aloha Classic in seven years, with it comes a whole host of world class sailors reemerging onto the competition scene such as the brilliant 2009 PWA Wave World Champion Josh Angulo, who won the last Aloha Classic back in 2006. Angulo will be demonstrating his powerful cutbacks with trademark monster one-handed aerials as he looks to retain his event title. Also three time PWA World Champion Kauli Seadi will be making his first appearance of the year after a dream year exploring the wonderful waters of his native Brazil. Seadi’s wave riding remains second to none and he will be a serious threat over the next two weeks. Of course Kevin Pritchard - who won the PWA Wave World Championship in 2006 - will also be fancying his chances of challenging for top honors.
Perhaps the most exciting news ahead of the event is the confirmation of the legendary Robby Naish’s entry into the main draw, as he makes his first appearance on the PWA World Tour for the first time since 2000. As arguably the biggest name in windsurfing history, the mere mentioning of his name will strike fear into his opponents as he looks to pit his wits against rivals that weren’t even born or were still in diapers, whilst he was dominating and driving windsurfing into the magnificent sport that it is today. Will the other sailors be able to hold their nerve against the most iconic man in windsurfing history?
The form book from recent events can also be pretty much thrown out the window when you consider the likes of Levi Siver, Camille Juban and Graham Ezzy are all expected to qualify for the main draw, all of whom excel on the world class waves of Ho’okipa and are more than capable of going all the way. The JP Aloha Classic looks set to see a plethora of potential early upsets as the top seeds could be drawn against some of the finest starboard tack wave sailors in the world, potentially creating carnage for some of biggest names in windsurfing.
The Aloha Classic has all the hallmarks of an amazing event that is sure to be filled with high, lows and a myriad of drama, meaning that you can’t afford to miss one minute of the action. Will the old guards powerful and traditional lines on the waves be able to contend with the new school trickery? Find out by tuning in from the 24th October, where you’ll be able to see all of the amazing pro heats live. If you miss any of the incredible action don’t worry as you’ll be able to catch up with all the footage on demand. Also be sure to check the AWT for even more of the latest news.