After two lay days in Hawaii, day three of the 2016 NoveNove Maui Aloha Classic saw the swell size increase (logo to mast high in the sets), which allowed the men’s and women’s single eliminations to begin. At the close of play only the top eight women remain standing, while the first, ten heats of the men’s single have been completed.
Motoko Sato (Starboard / Severne) was the standout sailor in the women’s division today as the 44-year-old won both of her heats in style with a combination of excellent wave selection and execution — even attempting a frontside 3 as she set the tone early on.
In Heat 17, Tatiana Howard (Starboard / NeilPryde) came out on top, while Junko Nagoshi (Goya Windsurfing) did well to recover from her board and rig separating in the opening few minutes. Nagoshi remained composed and eventually ended the hopes of Amanda Beenen (99NoveNove / Point-7) and Colette Guadagnino (JP / NeilPryde) as she secured second place to advance.
Ingrid Larouche (Fanatic / Ezzy) delivered a comprehensive display in Heat 18 to easily book her place in the semifinals as she linked powerful turns to deservedly win the heat ahead of Sarah Hauser (Tabou / Simmer).
Heat 19, which was won by Sato, saw a terrific battle for the second qualifying place between Alice Arutkin (Fanatic / NorthSails), Lena Erdil (Starboard / Point-7 / Mystic), who was making her debut in the waves and Shawna Cropas (JP / NeilPryde). For a long time, it looked as though Erdil was going to make a winning start to life in the waves but just missed out with Arutkin finding the wave she needed on her penultimate ride to advance with Sato.
The final women’s heat of the day featured one of the hotly fancied favourites Fiona Wylde (Starboard / Sailworks), but it wasn’t plain sailing for the 19-year-old. After getting her initial wave in the bag, Wylde then went over the falls on a set wave which resulted in a trip to the rocks, but luckily her kit survived unscathed and after a bit of help she was soon back out and safely securing her place in the next round.
Meanwhile, Sarah-Quita Offringa (Starboard / Neilpryde / Maui Ultra Fins) looks to have progressed her Ho’okipa sailing again and the Aruban gem also advances into the semifinals.
The opening heat of the men’s single elimination saw a stacked heat featuring the 2013 Aloha Classic Champion — Levi Siver (Quatro / Goya Windsurfing / MFC) — former two-time world champion Josh Angulo (Angulo / S2Maui) and PWA ripper Leon Jamaer (JP / NeilPryde) as well as Michi Schweiger (Naish / NaishSails). Siver came out firing on all cylinders and quickly racked up an 8.88 point wave after landing a radical frontside 3, before going on to win the heat ahead of Jamaer, who just edged out Angulo.
In Heat 3 Keith Teboul (Quatro / Goya Windsurfing / MFC) showed off his effortless, vertical top to bottom wave riding to comfortably win the heat ahead of Jake Schettewi (JP / Hot Sails Maui) — the 15-year-old won the Youth’s division yesterday and held his own today in the company of his more experienced peers to advance. Meanwhile, in Heat 4, Jason Polakow (JP / NeilPryde) unleashed some of his trademark under the lip hits to safely progress, while Moritz Mauch (Severne / Severne Sails / MFC) secured second place.
Local boy, Graham Ezzy (Tabou / Ezzy Sails) produced an eye-catching performance in Heat 5 as he combined dynamic, fluid turns with aggressive cutbacks and even added a silky smooth taka to send out a few warning signals as the contest progresses. Britain’s Ross Williams (Tabou / GA Sails / Mystic / Shamal Sunglasses) also booked his spot in round two with an accomplished display, but now faces a stern test against Kauli Seadi (99NoveNove / Hot Sails Maui / MFC), Robby Naish (Naish / Naish Sails) and Kevin Pritchard (Starboard / Ezzy / MFC) in the next round.
Robby Naish may have only been back on the water for a couple weeks after breaking his pelvis in May, but you would never have known given the way he sailed today as he went on to make a winning return to action in Heat 6 ahead of Connor Baxter (Starboard / NorthSails), who caused an upset by ending the hopes of Kai Katchadourian (Simmer / Simmer).
The penultimate heat of the opening round saw waterman Kai Lenny (Naish / Naish Sails / MFC) in action and the 24-year-old looked to be in dangerous form as he went on to win Heat 7 in convincing fashion ahead of Loick Lesauvage (Goya Windsurfing / Shamal Sunglasses). Lenny finished eighth here last year and you’d have to feel the bigger it gets the more dangerous he will become — the same can also be said for Polakow.
Bernd Roediger (Naish / Naish Sails / MFC) showed why he has triumphed at Ho’okipa before and why he finished second here in 2013 at the PWA Aloha Classic as the 20-year-old produced one of the highest scoring waves of the day — 9.38 points — after combing a sick turn in the pocket with a goiter off of the critical section. Roediger could well be one to watch very carefully over the coming days and no-one will fancy facing him. Also advancing from Heat 8 was Julien Taboulet (Goya Windsurfing / MFC).
Into the second round and Levi Siver continued his excellent form to win Heat 9, while Robby Swift (JP / NeilPryde / Mystic / SWOX) — currently 5th in the overall world rankings — also made a successful start as Diony Guadagnino (AHD / Loft Sails / MFC) and Jake Schettewi were eliminated at their expense.
Heat 10 proved to be the final heat of the day and only featured three sailors with Jaeger Stone (Starboard / Severne / SWOX / Shamal Sunglasses) unfortunately forced to withdraw this morning after injuring himself while training yesterday. However, Antoine Martin (JP / NeilPryde / MFC), Leon Jamaer and Keith Teboul produced a fitting end with an extremely close battle for the top two qualifying positions.
Martin was awarded the highest scoring wave of the day — 9.55 points — after landing a one-handed aerial straight into a gouging turn, before finishing off with a goiter off of the end section. However, despite racking up the highest scoring wave, Martin was unable to find the second wave score he required as Teboul and Jamaer marched on after ultimately showing better wave selection.
The action is set to continue tomorrow with a promising looking forecast which is predicting waves of 2.5 metres at 14 seconds, while the wind is expected to be similar to today. The skippers’ meeting has been called for 10am tomorrow morning with the action commencing from 11am (GMT-10). Make sure you tune into http://www.pwaworldtour.comwww.pwaworldtour.com to follow all of the epic action as it happens via the PWA live stream.
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