NoveNove Maui Aloha Classic
Ho’okipa delivered the goods again on Day 12 of the NoveNove Maui Aloha Classic to provide a fitting ending to the finals on Super Sunday. Only the top four sailors in each of the men’s and women’s fleets were left standing after busy day yesterday, so today saw the world’s best wave riders battling it for the prestigious honour of being crowned the NoveNove Maui Aloha Classic Champion.
The wind may have been light and patchy to begin with, but it soon turned nuclear, so with strong winds and logo to mast high sets there was plenty of epic action to conclude an amazing event.
Fiona Wylde (Starboard / Goya Windsurfing) was on fire yesterday as she stormed her way back through the double by winning 5 heats in a row and the 18 year old picked up where she left off from today as she saw off the challenge of Sarah Hauser (Tabou / Simmer) — who finishes fourth — before going on to defeat Ingrid Larouche (Fanatic / North) — who sailed through the pain barrier again to complete the podium. Wylde showed excellent wave selection again together with superb timing with her turns as she consistently hit the lip to set up a final against Iballa Moreno (Starboard / Severne / Maui Ultra Fins).
The final saw a repeat of last year’s showdown as Iballa Moreno and Fiona Wylde lined up against each other again. By this point Wylde was on a seemingly unstoppable roll having won her last 7 heats and the local girl made a strong start to the final as she produced a super late hit under the lip, releasing the fins to earn 7.62 points — immediately applying the pressure to Iballa. Over the remainder of the heat the two women continued to exchange blows with the lead swinging back and forth between them. With two minutes remaining Wylde held the lead with Iballa needing a 7.62 point wave or better to avoid a Super Final. In those final two minutes both women gained one more scoring opportunity as a set rolled into Ho’okipa at the perfect time to provide a tense finale. Wylde delivered two more perfectly timed turns before finishing off with a float over the lip, but Iballa went one better as she produced her most aggressive wave of the heat by combining three powerful hacks to earn 8 points and take the 2015 NoveNove Maui Aloha Classic title, which completes a famous hat-trick of event victories having won here in 2006, 2014 and now 2015.
Iballa Moreno had this to say after defending both her world title and Aloha Classic Crown: “In the water you don’t really know have any idea about the points, but apparently it was really close until the last wave I caught, which gave me 8 points, which made the difference in the end. I’m pretty happy that everything went well and I won the event. I mean it’s another dream come true. Yesterday was a really emotional day with a lot of things going on in my mind, but today I realised my main goal of coming to Hawaii, which was to win the Aloha Classic and I’m delighted about this more than anything else.”
Levi Siver (Quatro / Goya Windsurfing / MFC) looked to be in the same irresistible form as yesterday as he quickly racked up a 9.25 point wave, after landing a perfect frontside 3 against Thomas Traversa (Tabou / GA Sails) in the battle for third and fourth. The 2013 Aloha Classic Champion then added another sick air frontside 3 to leave Traversa firmly under the cosh and requiring a 9.14 point wave. TT tried to pull out all of his tricks in response, but this time around he couldn’t prevent Siver from marching on.
Next up for Siver, who had won 5 consecutive heats by this point, was 3-time world champion Kauli Seadi (99NoveNove / Hot Sails Maui / MFC) and the American made the more explosive start to the heat as he stomped another frontside 3, however on this occasion he couldn’t back it up as he fell on his next turn. Siver added a couple of trademark hacks together with a one-handed aerial, but having seemed like the 360 was on lockdown in the heats prior to this he couldn’t quite recapture that moment of magic he required. This left the door open for Seadi to attack and attack is exactly what he did. The Brazilian unleashed a super radical goiter and backed it up with a round house cutback in the pocket to earn 9.25 points, whilst ending Siver’s comeback through the double, leaving Siver to settle for an excellent third place overall.
This left a fight for the title between reigning Aloha Classic Champion — Morgan Noireaux (JP / Hot Sails Maui) and Kauli Seadi — but in order for Seadi to win entire contest he would need to defeat Noireaux twice. In the final the Brazilian linked together several trademark fluid waves and was able to force the ultimate showdown with a Super Final.
In the Super Final, Seadi and Noireaux, took slightly different approaches with Seadi opting to keep busy by working numerous slightly smaller waves on the inside, whilst Noireaux was happy to play the waiting game and patiently wait for the sets without panicking. This saw Seadi race into an early lead, but Noireaux’s patience eventually paid off as he came from behind to completely reverse the tables — with a combination of radical super vert aerials and powerful cutbacks under the lip paying dividends as he was awarded 8.88 points and 7 point wave scores in quick succession. The Hawaiian’s, Brazilian opponent went for broke, but it wasn’t to be for Seadi as Noireaux became the first man to successfully defend PWA Aloha Classic titles with another mightily impressive display.
Morgan Noireaux reacts to winning back-to-back Aloha Classics: “It feels amazing, to be honest I thought I’d got a 1st and a 2nd there for a little bit, so it’s nice to find out I’d won. In the first heat I thought I sailed pretty consistent and then in that second heat I made a few mistakes. I managed to catch a pretty nice set wave to bring it back though. I thought I’d lost when I came in so it’s obviously a relief to find out that I didn’t.”
On being patient in the final Noireaux added: “Yeah, I saw Kauli going for the little insiders, but I didn’t think it was worth it because I had a solid set wave in the bag already, so then I was just trying to find another wave like that opening one. - I just didn’t wanna start going goiters and what not on the inside - I just wanted to get some decent turns. Overall though it didn’t feel like I waited that long, but I’m happy that the bit of patience I showed in waiting for the bigger sets ones paid off.”
The official closing ceremony will be held on Tuesday 10th November with the doors opening from 6 pm. The closing ceremony will be held at the Maui Arts and Cultural Centre and there will be numerous award up for grabs in a raffle, which include — Chinook Carbon boom, NoveNove board, S2 Maui sail, a Jimmy Hepp yearly subscription and more!
Tickets are available to the public at MauiArts.org for $35 or $45 at the door.
Result of the 2015 NoveNove Maui Aloha Classic: Women’s
1st Iballa Moreno (Starboard / Severne / Maui Ultra Fins)
2nd Fiona Wylde (Starboard / Goya Windsurfing)
3rd Ingrid Larouche (Fanatic / North)
4th Sarah Hauser (Tabou / Simmer)
5th Vickey Abbot
6th Nayra Alonso (Fanatic / Severne)
7th Sarah-Quita Offringa (Starboard / NeilPryde / Mystic / Maui Ultra Fins)
8th Ann-Marie Reichman (Starboard / Hot Sails Maui)
9th Shawna Cropas (JP / NeilPryde)
9th Amanda Beenen (99NoveNove / Point-7)
Result of the 2015 NoveNove Maui Aloha Classic: Men’s
1st Morgan Noireaux (JP / Hot Sails Maui)
2nd Kauli Seadi (99NoveNove / Hot Sails Maui / MFC)
3rd Levi Siver (Quatro / Goya Windsurfing / MFC)
4th Thomas Traversa (Tabou / GA Sails)
5th Camille Juban (Quatro / Avanti / MFC)
6th Victor Fernández (Fanatic / North / MFC)
7th Ricardo Campello (Patrik / Point-7 / MFC)
8th Kai Lenny (Naish / MFC)
9th Kevin Pritchard (Starboard / Ezzy / MFC)
9th Marcilio Browne (Goya Windsurfing / MFC)