The PWA Aloha Classic presented by JP Australia – Day 7
Josh Angulo and Iballa Moreno claim victory on a day when tactical ability, wave selection and out and out waveriding skill reign supreme.
In the Women’s division, the fluid style and impressive aerials of Iballa Ruano Moreno (Mistral / North Sails) held the judges captive to allow her the honor of winning the single elimination this most prestigious event.
With her sister Daida (Mistral / North Sails) having been knocked out in the semi-finals by an on-form Henderson and Nagoshi, she had it all to play for with the Women’s world title on the line but the pressure only helped spur her on to an extremely impressive performance, clinching the win in the single elimination.
Karin Jaggi (F2 / North Sails), ever present in the upper echelons of Women’s windsurfing scored a solid second place, narrowly beating Junko Nagoshi (F2 / Simmer) who had sailed extremely impressively throughout the competition. Jennifer Henderson (Starboard), a well-known Ho’okipa legend among the women had to settle for a very respectable fourth place this evening after winning all of her heats up until the final.
Showing that she is definitely someone to watch in the future, local Maui girl Tatiana Howard (Naish / Naish) impressed the judges today with some very stylish and fluid waverides. Only 20 years of age, Tati had to miss her class at College today in order to sail in her first ever semi final.
In the Men’s competition, there were some early upsets with last year’s World Champion, and contender for the 2006 crown, Kauli Seadi (Quatro / Naish) being knocked out in the quarter finals by local sailor Kai Katchadourian (Quatro / Simmer) and his good friend, 3 time Freestyle World Champion Ricardo Campello (JP / NeilPryde). Ricardo was on fire today, notching up one of the highest scoring waves of the day when he pulled two powerful turns and then a fully planning air taka on a set wave in the semi final. Unfortunately, he was unable to back it up with another high-scoring wave allowing Levi Siver (Starboard / NeilPryde) ahead of him into the final.
Another notable performance today came from Micah Buzianis (JP / NeilPryde) whose wife gave birth to their second child last night, a beautiful baby girl. Micah, normally known for his slalom prowess progressed all the way to the quarter finals today, knocking out well known wave sailors, Graham Ezzy and Scott McKercher (Starboard / Severne) along the way.
The British sailors were on form today as Nik Baker (Mistral / North Sails) showed some of his past Aloha Classic winning form in his heats, pulling out some dazzlingly high one handed aerials and beyond vertical snaps. Spending a lot of time with his wife and son back in his home country of England does not seem to have dulled any of his Ho’okipa wave knowledge as he advanced all the way through to the semi-final with fellow Brit, Ross Williams (Tabou). They were both topped in the end by two Ho’okipa greats, Jason Polakow (JP / NeilPryde) and Kevin Pritchard (Starboard / MauiSails).
When it came down to the final, the wind had backed off slightly and turned very off-shore, so it turned into a tactical battle between the four top sailors. No one wanted to get caught on the inside while the others were out the back able to catch whatever waves they pleased, so there was many a time when the sailors would come in on a wave only to decide that it didn’t look quite right and gybe off it to head back out in search of something better. All four sailors were on some of their biggest equipment and it only goes to show their incredible skill that they were all able to pull off such radical turns and high, tweaked aerials in the tricky conditions.
In the end, it was not Polakow’s day as he went too late on the best wave of his heat and was left unable to outrun the section. Siver made slightly better choices and so was able to pull off some nice tweaked aerials securing him third place. The battle for first and second ended up being extremely close between Kevin Pritchard and Angulo with both sailors pulling of some huge aerials, Kevin even managing to take off a foot on one of his!
At the final bell however, it was Angulo’s last wave that clinched him the win. He waited until the dying seconds to catch it and never looked nervous for a second as he ripped his way down the line combining powerful gouges with high, projected aerials to seal him yet another event win here at his old home break of Ho’okipa!
Check out www.pwaworldtour.com for full results and ELIMINATION LADDERS and do not forget to check out www.jp-australia.com for the latest video action from today.
Forecasts suggest that conditions will continue through tomorrow allowing the double elimination to be completed, so stay tuned to find out if Moreno and Angulo can hold on to the top slots, when the action kicks off from 09.00 Maui time (GMT-10) tomorrow.