Mercedes-Benz Aloha Classic

Event Summary: Ho’okipa Provides a Fitting Finale To The 2019 PWA Wave World Tour As Aloha Classic, World & IWT Champions Are Crowned

With the promise of a macking swell and trade winds on the forecast from the word go for the 2019 Mercedes-Benz Aloha Classic the decision was quickly made to activate the 5 day competition window on the opening day of the event. 

The action which followed was gripping with Aloha Classic, World & IWT titles on the line pushing the sailors to take maximum risk. This time around it wasn’t always classic Ho’okipa with big chop on the faces of well over mast high waves making it a tricky competition ground, but the world’s best wave sailors still produced many standout moments along the way, while Ho’okipa’s infamous rocks also claimed their fair share of victims. 


On the opening day of the 2019 Mercedes-Benz Aloha Classic - Sarah-Quita Offringa (Starboard / NeilPryde / Maui Ultra Fins) - was able to win the Women’s Single Elimination ahead of her main title rival, and at the time reigning world champion - Iballa Moreno (Severne / Severne / Maui Ultra Fins), which put her in a commanding position with only 4 days of the competition window remaining.

Over the next 4 days, Offringa would have to endure a long and nail-biting wait to see whether she would have to try and defend her Single Elimination crown, or simply try and wait it out. As things played out, unfortunately, there wasn’t enough time to run the Women’s Double Elimination, which meant that Offringa would collect her second Aloha Classic title - adding to her previous success from 2016, but far more importantly she would also complete a career grand slam with the 28-year-old getting her hands on the PWA Wave World Championship for the first time in her career. 

Offringa’s feat here is quite incredible, as not only does she bring an end to Iballa Moreno’s 5 year reign as the undisputed Wave World Champion, but she also becomes the first woman in over two decades to wrestle the PWA Wave World title away from the hands of the Moreno twins - Daida (Severne / Severne Sails / Maui Ultra Fins) and Iballa - as the Aruban continues to write her name into the windsurfing record books with world title No.17 (12 Freestyle, 4 Slalom & now 1 Wave).

Iballa ends 2019 as the vice-world champion and on a different day, she could’ve easily defended her world title. The 10-time world champion came extremely close to landing an under-the-lip aerial in the final after a stylish first turn and if she had have been able to sail away from that air the title may have swung in her direction. Iballa should still be very proud of her second place at the Aloha and in the overalls - particularly after starting the season with a knee injury.

Justyna Sniady (Simmer / Simmer Sails / AL360) completes the prestigious overall podium, which is the first time the Pole has finished in the overall top 3. Sniady started the season by rattling off 3 consecutive podiums - having never finished on the podium before - and this will go down as a breakthrough season after so many years of trying to crack the top 3 - proving that dedication, time and training do eventually pay off.

Motoko Sato (Starboard / Severne) completes the Aloha Classic podium with a fine display of sailing, while Lina Erpenstein (Severne / Severne Sails), who was competing at her first Aloha Classic, takes home 4th both in Maui and in the overalls.

With the IWT favourites - Mariah Andrés (Fanatic / Duotone), Arrianne Aukes (Fanatic / Duotone / Maui Ultra Fins) and Sarah Hauser (Tabou / S2Maui) - falling much earlier than anticipated that meant that the Women’s IWT ranking would remain as it was before the start of the event. With Andrés and Aukes both discarding their results here that means that Andrés becomes the IWT Champion for the first time, while Aukes and Hauser complete the podium.


If Antoine Martin (JP / NeilPryde) was feeling any pressure heading into the final event of the year, then he certainly didn’t show it during the Aloha Classic. The 25-year-old came into Maui while enjoying his best season to date on the world tour, whilst also leading the IWT and he grasped the event with both hands as he stormed to victory in the Single Elimination after continually taking maximum risk and hitting the biggest lips he could find. Victory at this year’s Aloha Classic is the first time that Martin has won an event on the world tour, while it also ensures that he finishes the year as the IWT Champion for the second consecutive year. Martin’s first win also sees him gain 3 places in the overalls - rising to 4th for 2019 which is also a personal best!

Caribbean Power

The Caribbean has long been producing world class windsurfing athletes, but this year’s Aloha Classic truly highlights those credentials once again. Aruba’s Sarah-Quita Offringa took down the Women’s and Guadeloupe’s Martin the Men’s, while Martin’s good friend - Camille Juban (Quatro / S2Maui) - who won the IWT Aloha Classic in 2018 and who is also from Guadeloupe - would go on to secure second place this time around meaning the Caribbean sailors truly dominated the top positions as this year’s contest.

Bernd Roediger (Naish / Naish Sails) was the only other sailor, besides Martin, to earn a 10 point wave score after linking a powerful turn into an aerial and an insane inverted goiter, but the multiple-time Aloha Classic Champion had to settle for third place this time, while Kai Lenny (Quatro / Goya Windsurfing) completes the top 4. The final may not have gone the way Lenny would have envisaged, but the global waterman still caught the eye with his performances earlier in the draw.

Elsewhere, Leon Jamaer (JP / NeilPryde) signs off the season with an excellent joint 5th place, which sees the German ranked 8th for 2019, while Marcilio Browne (Goya Windsurfing) is the other sailor to share joint 5th alongside Jamaer. 

Browne, for many people, came into the season finale as one of the favourites for both the Aloha Classic and the world title, but the Brazilian couldn’t quite find a way into the 4-man final with Ho’okipa’s bumpy conditions proving tough to negotiate. 

At the time, Browne may not have been aware of the importance of his semifinal heat, but put simply a place in the 4-man final would have propelled the Brazilian into the world title race lead. However, with Browne crucially finishing 3rd that left Philip Köster (Starboard / Severne / Maui Ultra Fins) with a slender 258 point lead at the end of the Single Elimination and with no time to finish the Double, Köster would claim his 5th world title at the age of just 25.

Köster, meanwhile, came into Maui having never won a heat at the Aloha Classic, and many had already written off his world title chances - despite the fact that he came into Hawaii leading the tour. However, those that doubted him were soon made to eat their words as the 25-year-old navigated his way into the quarterfinals, before just missing out on a place in the semis. Crucially though, Köster secured 3rd place in his semifinal final heat - less than a point behind Robby Swift (JP / NeilPryde / SWOX), who finished joint 7th - which was enough to keep him ahead of everyone else with his fellow title contenders faltering.

For those who had prematurely written Köster off, by doubting his starboard tack credentials, it is perhaps a timely reminder of the huge talent that Köster possesses, and that time, as precious as it is, is the only limiting factor, up to now, that has stopped him from being more effective at Ho’okipa.

The event may not have panned out as Ricardo Campello (Brunotti Boards) would’ve liked as the Brazilian/Venezuelan’s wait for a first wave world title continues, but the 33-year-old remains one of the powerhouses of the windsurfing world. Campello ends 2019 ranked 3rd, which is his second consecutive year on the overall podium after finishing second in 2018.

The top 10 is completed by 3-time world champion Victor Fernandez (ESP | Fanatic / Duotone) - 5th - 2014 World Champion - Thomas Traversa (Tabou / GA Sails) - 6th - while Jaeger Stone (Starboard / Severne / SWOX) still finishes 7th despite missing the last event of the season through injury,

As previously mentioned - Leon Jamaer (JP / NeilPryde) - finishes 8th - while the hugely talented - Marc Paré (Simmer / Simmer Sails) cracks the overall top 10 for the first time in his career - 9th - having just missed out last season when finishing 11th. Fellow Spaniard - Alex Mussolini (RRD / RRD Sails) completes the top 10.


The next generation also showed what excellent hands the future of wave sailing is in as they produced a hugely impressive display in intimidating and tricky conditions at Ho’okipa Beach Park when they were given their chance. 

Takuma Sugi (Tabou / GA Sails) stole the show to win the Youth Aloha Classic ahead of local boy Jake Schettewi (JP / Hot Sails Maui), fellow Japanese Takara Ishii (RRD / RRD Sails) and Zee Schettewi.

Victory at the Aloha Classic sees Sugi finish 2019 as the vice-world champion, just behind Marino Gil (Goya Windsurfing), who wins the U20s at the age of just 17. The young Spaniard inflicted most of his damage in the Canary Islands earlier in the year where he won both events in Gran Canaria & Tenerife. Meanwhile, Ishii completes the overall podium.

For a full recap of the developments from Maui — including the live stream, elimination ladders, entry list, images and live ticker simply click HERE and scroll to the bottom of the page.

Where’s Next on the PWA World Tour?

In just under two weeks the final event of the 2019 PWA World Tour will take place in New Caledonia between the 18th-23rd November and the Bureau Vallee Dream Cup will decide this years’ Slalom World title race. As things stand it looks more than likely that it will be a straight fight between - Matteo Iachino (Starboard / Severne) and Pierre Mortefon (Fanatic / Duotone / Chopper Fins) - but you never know reigning world champion - Antoine Albeau (JP / NeilPryde) - could still spoil the fun… who’s your money on?

Result 2019 Mercedes-Benz Aloha Classic - Women's

1st Sarah-Quita Offringa (ARU | Starboard / NeilPryde / Maui Ultra Fins)
2nd Iballa Moreno (ESP | Severne / Severne Sails / Maui Ultra Fins)
3rd Motoko Sato (JPN | Starboard / Severne Sails)
4th Lina Erpenstein (GER | Severne / Severne Sails)
5th Angela Cochran (USA)
5th Tatiana Howard (USA | Quatro / Goya Windsurfing)

Result 2019 Mercedes-Benz Aloha Classic - Men's 

1st Antoine Martin (FRA | JP / NeilPryde)
2nd Camille Juban (GPE | Quatro / S2Maui)
3rd Bernd Roediger (USA - Naish | Naish)
4th Kai Lenny (USA | Quatro / Goya Windsurfing)
5th Marcilio Browne (BRA | Goya Windsurfing)
5th Leon Jamaer (GER | JP / NeilPryde)
7th Robby Swift (GBR | JP / NeilPryde / SWOX)
7th Ricardo Campello (VEN/BRA | Brunotti Boards)
9th Graham Ezzy (USA | Tabou / Ezzy Sails)
9th Philip Köster (GER | Starboard / Severne / Maui Ultra Fins)
9th Morgan Noireaux (HI | JP / NeilPryde)
9th Thomas Traversa (FRA | Tabou / GA Sails)

Result 2019 Mercedes-Benz Aloha Classic - Youth’s

1st Takuma Sugi (JPN | Tabou / GA Sails)
2nd Jake Schettewi (USA | JP / Hot Sails Maui)
3rd Takara Ishii (JPN | RRD / RRD Sails)
4th Zee Schettewi (USA | JP / Hot Sails Maui)

Overall Ranking 2019 PWA World Tour - Women’s Wave

1st Sarah-Quita Offringa (ARU | Starboard / NeilPryde / Maui Ultra Fins)
2nd Iballa Moreno (ESP | Severne / Severne Sails / Maui Ultra Fins)
3rd Justyna Sniady (POL | Simmer / Simmer Sails / AL360)
4th Lina Erpenstein (GER | Severne / Severne Sails)
5th Maaike Huvermann (NED | Starboard / Severne / Maui Ultra Fins)

Overall Ranking 2019 PWA World Tour - Men’s Wave

1st Philip Köster (GER | Starboard / Severne / Maui Ultra Fins)
2nd Marcilio Browne (BRA | Goya Windsurfing)
3rd Ricardo Campello (VEN/BRA | Brunotti Boards)
4th Antoine Martin (FRA | JP / NeilPryde)
5th Victor Fernandez (ESP | Fanatic / Duotone)
6th Thomas Traversa (FRA | Tabou / GA Sails)
7th Jaeger Stone (AUS | Starboard / Severne / SWOX)
8th Leon Jamaer (GER | JP / NeilPryde)
9th Marc Paré (ESP | Simmer / Simmer Sails)
10th Alex Mussolini (ESP | RRD / RRD Sails)

Overall Ranking 2019 PWA World Your - U20s Youth

1st Marino Gil (ESP | Goya Windsurfing)
2nd Takuma Sugi (JPN | Tabou / GA Sails)
3rd Takara Ishii (JPN | RRD / RRD Sails)
4th Jake Schettewi (USA | JP / Hot Sails Maui)
5th Miguel Chapuis (ESP | JP / NeilPryde)