Brit Ripper John Skye (F2 / Naish) took a big hit and broke his nose after just a few days back on the rock. Luckily Skyeboy’s back on the water with a vengeance now but he’s noticed some young names to watch out for in the future and seen who out of the top names have been going for it as the big winter swells roll in.
“Howdy Y’All. Here’s an update of what I’ve seen sitting on 'The Hill' and out on the water at Ho’okipa.
First up the kiddies: Bernd Roediger (Naish / Naish) has been out every day at Ho’okipa regardless of the size of the waves. I think he’s just 10 or 11 years old but he’s sailing really well.
Also out everyday is Morgan Noireaux (just 13) on JP/Pryde. He’s also shredding on a tiny little Quatro shaped custom;It's the sickest board I’ve ever seen, like a mini version of Polakow’s board!
Both these kids are doing home study; so look out in the future because they definitely have an unfair advantage. Let’s just say that sailing Ho’okipa everyday from the age of 10 makes things look pretty good for turning pro when you’re a bit older! The other kids I think must’ve been at school as they’ve only been around at weekends!
Onto the grown ups – well the not quite grown-ups yet. Camille Juban (Quatro) is sailing really well. I think he’s only 17 and from the look of his sailing here he’ll be taking down a lot of names next year. What's even scarier is that he is even better on port tack.
Missing from Ho’okipa this year is Graham Ezzy. Having decided to go to College on the mainland he missed out on a good few weeks but still managed to sneak over for 10 days holiday to show he hasn’t lost any of his flair.
The ladies are here in force too, with up to a third of the sailors out at Ho’okipa being female! Ashley Baxter is showing great potential. Whether she’ll follow the tour next year remains to be seen. Tatiana Howard (Naish / Naish) is charging both on her surfboard and windsurfing gear and would definitely give everyone a challenge at Ho’okipa.
Nayra Alonso (Fanatic / Severne) is obviously psyched up after her Sylt win and is sailing with more power and aggression than ever and impressing everyone. Likewise after her 2nd Overall title win Iballa Moreno (North) came over to Maui for just over 2 weeks and has been sailing really well like always. Other Maui transplants Junko Nagoshi (F2 / Simmer) and Anne Marie Reichmann (Naish / Naish) are both looking very at home in the surf at Ho’okipa, and Junko’s also showing a solid repertoire in freestyle too.
Without the Aloha Classic this year there are a lot less “pros” in town. However a few made the journey and have been enjoying the best of Maui. Peter Volwater (F2 /North), Julian Taboulet (F2 / Naish), Victor Fernandez (Fanatic / Simmer), Ross Williams (Tabou / Gaastra), Leo Ray (Naish / Naish) and myself. Plus Dan Ellis (Fanatic / Naish) is showing that he is more than just a racer, ripping up Ho’s with the best of them.
Then there are the “local” pros. Swifty (JP / NeilPryde) and Pozza (JP / NeilPryde) have been out when its good, but the most motivated of all has been Levi Siver (Starboard / NeilPryde). Obviously the podium finish in Brazil has fired him up because he’s been on the water everyday regardless of the wind and surf conditions. He always sails well here, but there’s something different about him this season and my guess is that he’ll be standing on a lot more podiums next year.
There are also a few others worthy of a mention, not PWA sailors but guys who definitely could be if they made the move. Christopher Ferraretto has competed on the tour before and is sailing Ho’okipa really well. Also a past legend is local chiropractor Drew Farrior. He competed years ago on the racing tour and also took part in last years Aloha. In between appointments he’s always one of the best on the water. Frederic Steineck made his mark on the PWA taking out Levi in the Hawaii Pro a few years ago. Fred’s now working on mastering the air taka and can be seen throwing them off everything – he’s still not that consistent, but when he gets them they’re the sickest moves out of everyone.
Then there’s me of course.... I’m obviously by far the best of all these guys. Bottom turning like Levi, off the top like Polakow, jumping better than Victor and surfing like Kelly Slater when the wind’s light - round house cutbacks into barrels and stuff like that are becoming second nature…honest.
Wish you were all here!
© PWA / Brian McDowell